New Albany, Indiana – Vehicle Services Group, LLC of Madison, Indiana(“VSG”), via an Indiana patent lawyer, has sued Mohawk Resources, LTD of Amsterdam, New York(“Mohawk”) alleging patent infringement of VSG’s “Electronically Controlled Vehicle Lift and Vehicle Service System,” Patent No. 6,983,196 (the “‘196 patent”), which has been registered by the U.S. Patent Office.
VSG is a designer and manufacturer of vehicle lifts, such as those one might see lifting a car in an auto mechanic’s shop. VSG’s ‘196 patent relates to a vehicle lift that has an electronic control which is functional to control the raising and lowering of the lift and to enable the display of a variety of information.
Mohawk also makes vehicle lifts, and is a direct competitor of VSG in the marketplace. The lifts that are at issue in this case (the “Accused Lifts”) include various Mohawk products. The complaint cites infringement by the Mobile Column Lifts identified as model numbers MP-18, MP-24 and MP-30. Those particular lifts purportedly incorporate the technology covered by VSG’s ‘196 patent, and thus infringe that patent.
In addition to levying allegations of patent infringement, VSG also claims that Mohawk is actively and knowingly inducing infringement of at least claim 145 of the ‘196 patent by instructing third parties, such as customers, to network together the Accused Lifts. Finally, Mohawk is accused of knowingly contributing to the infringement by others of the ‘196 patent by making, using, offering for sale, and selling the Accused Lifts.
An Indiana patent attorney alleged the following on behalf of VSG in a civil action for patent infringement:
• Count I: Patent Infringement
• Count II: Inducing Infringement
• Count III: Contributory Infringement
VSG asserts that Mohawk’s acts of infringement of the ‘196 patent have caused and will continue to cause VSG substantial and irreparable injury. It also contends that the infringing activities have been willful and asks the court for judgment as follows:
A. That Mohawk be found to infringe the ‘196 patent;
B. That Mohawk, its officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys, and all persons in active concert with them, or any of them, be preliminarily and permanently enjoined from infringing the ‘196 patent;
C. That VSG be awarded damages adequate to compensate for Mohawk’s infringement of the ‘196 patent;
D. That the Court deem this case to be exceptional; and
E. That VSG be awarded its attorneys’ fees, expenses, and costs of this action.
Practice Tip: This is at least the second complaint filed by VSG in the Southern District of Indiana and assigned to Judge Sarah Evans Barker. A previous lawsuit, Vehicle Service Group, LLC v. Stertil-Koni USA, Inc., makes similar allegations of patent infringement.
The case was filed by James Dimos of Frost Brown Todd LLC. The case was assigned to District Judge Sarah Evans Barker and Magistrate Judge William G. Hussmann in the Southern District of Indiana and assigned Case No. 4:13-cv-00195-SEB-WGH.