Michelin settlement resolves infringement suit against CMA

Nov. 26, 2007

Michelin North America Inc. and China Manufacturers Alliance LLC (CMA) have entered into a United States settlement agreement resolving the infringement of intellectual property rights.

The settlement follows a resolution between Michelin and the former Shanghai Tire & Rubber (Group) Co. Ltd. on multiple intellectual property litigations in various countries.

In return for Michelin dropping its legal actions for patent infringement and other issues, Shanghai, now Double Coin Holdings Ltd., and its related companies agreed they will change the tread patterns on relevant Double Coin and DynaTrac brand tires.

The companies also removed all versions of Michelin-copyrighted content from their Web sites.

Details of the financial settlement were not disclosed.

In December 2005, Michelin alerted more than 5,000 dealers in various countries of the risks involved in marketing look-alike tires from Asia. The company claimed the look-alike products copied the tread patterns of Michelin truck tires, stating "while the two treads may look alike, the look-alikes may not deliver the same grip or longevity of performance as an authentic Michelin tire."

In May 2007, Michelin initiated its patent and copyright infringement lawsuit against CMA. The suit, filed in federal court in Greenville, S.C., accused CMA of importing and selling the Double Coin RT606 and the DynaTrac RS330 tires, "both of which utilize unauthorized copies of the patented Michelin XZE tread pattern."

Michelin initially sought an injunction against further distribution, as well as monetary damages.