Cypress, California — The US District Court for the Central District of California has entered a default judgment of $16.7 million (€15.2 million) against Hong Kong Tri-Ace Wheel & Tire Corp. (HKTA) and its founder, owner and manager, Jinlin Ma, in favour of Toyo Tire Corp. and Toyo Tire USA Corp.
The federal court also enjoined HKTA and Ma against selling its AMP M/T tire or any other HKTA tire that infringes on Toyo's design patents, Toyo said in a news release.
A spokesman for HKTA declined to comment.
The 18 Sept verdict included $16.4 million in compensatory damages and $331,186 in attorneys' fees, according to Toyo.
Toyo said it filed a motion for default judgment after HKTA, and Ma did not respond to Toyo's complaint.
The judgment is part of a long-standing legal action Toyo has taken against multiple Chinese tire manufacturers it accused of making and selling tires based on patented Toyo designs.
Toyo filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission in August 2013, accusing HKTA and 21 other Chinese tire makers of patent and trade dress infringement.
The Central California lawsuit, against HKTA and three other corporations, was filed in January 2014. Toyo specifically accused HKTA of copying Toyo's Open Country M/T tire in its AMP M/T.
Iori Suzuki, chairman, president and CEO of Toyo Tires Holdings of Americas Inc., said he was pleased with the Central California court's and other federal courts' recognising Toyo's property rights.
"Toyo will continue to relentlessly and unwaveringly pursue those who violate our rights," Suzuki said.