LOS ANGELES– LAWFUEL – The Legal Newswire –In a decision that could benefit U.S. consumers and spur further competition, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. has affirmed the May 2006 verdict by a jury in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, that a fuel cap being sold to General Motors currently and for the last several years by Gerdes GmbH of Germany, does not infringe any valid patent claim asserted by Stant Manufacturing, Inc.
According to Gerdes’ attorney, Michael S. Elkind of Fulwider Patton LLP, Stant had dominated the business of supplying fuel caps to U.S. car manufacturers for decades. When Gerdes began supplying approximately one-half of General Motors’ requirements for this market during the 2003 model year, Stant filed a patent infringement lawsuit. Gerdes and two related companies have been defending the suit for the past five years. Stant is owned by the British company, Tomkins plc.
Although gas caps are one of the smallest features on a car, they are a major safety component and an integral part of the onboard diagnostics system and emissions control systems.
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