It appears that Toyo Tire (Americas) is accussing three Chinese tire makers (Shandong Yongtai Chemical, Shandong Linglong Tyre, and South China Tire & Rubber) of patent infringement. The complaint (61 pages), was made to the U.S. Int’l Trade Commission (ITC). The complaint also included 19 importers, who still have yet to respond.
The ITC is asking these companies whether there is a tire in the U.S. that could compete directly with the tire that Toyo is trying to ban. We believe there are numerous tires that compete directly with Toyo, but we’ll see.
Included in Toyo’s complaint is that some of the light truck tires (including Nitto) manufactured or imported by these parties infringe on existing Toyo design patents in the U.S. Toyo wants the tires from these manufacturers or importers to be banned from the U.S.
“…over the years developed and introduced passenger and light truck tires with designs that are both innovative and unique,” Toyo said in a press release. “Toyo is taking this step to protect the company, its customers and associates from unfair competition by enforcing its intellectual property rights.”
The real interesting thing about the article is that MHT Alloys, Wheel Warehouse, Unicorn Tire and Lexani Tires Worldwide were named in the suit. These are pretty big importers and retailers, so not sure how this will go over with them. Let’s see what happens.