Parts manufacturer wins 'landmark' court case

Truck light manufacturer LED Technologies wins "landmark court case" banning the sale of imported copies of its products

LED Technologies, which produces Australian-made truck lights, has won a "landmark court case" banning the sale of imported copies of its products.

Tony Ottobre — who founded LED Technologies — won a two year battle against a Chinese-based company REN International, which had been manufacturing copies of the Truck and trailer LED lights.

An amendment to design laws now includes patent protection if a product is "substantially similar" to the product it is copying. Previously, it was legal to copy a product if was seen to have at least a 10 percent difference in design.

Ottobre developed truck and trailer lights that significantly lower the energy output, growing his business from an annual turnover of $100,000 to $12 million last year. He registered the design in 2004, while REN International began importing a copy of the product into Australia from 2006.
It was ordered REN International and the distribution companies associated with it pay LED Technologies $200,000 in damages.

The two-year court battle reportedly cost Ottobre $900,000 but he does not regret fighting the case.

"Someone had to take a stand ... this is a huge win not just for my business, but for all makers and sellers of Aussie-designed goods," he says.

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