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Lawsuit against equipment supplier "a stunt", says owner

The owner of Dayton, OH-based Comet Automation Systems, Inc, the target of a patent-infringement lawsuit filed by M...


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July 3, 2003 by Canadian Plastics

The owner of Dayton, OH-based Comet Automation Systems, Inc, the target of a patent-infringement lawsuit filed by Maguire Products Inc., says he is confident the U.S. courts will find no legal basis for the claims in the suit. Commenting on the lawsuit at the recent NPE, Comet president Tom Rajkovich said he believes there are ulterior motives for the legal action.
"He (Maguire Products’ president Steve Maguire) pulled this stunt before the last NPE," said Rajkovich. "He’s getting a half-million dollars of free publicity out of this."
The suit alleges that Comet’s GraviMix Micro blender infringes U.S. patents issued in 2000 and 2002 to Maguire Products’ MicroBlender.
According to Rajkovich, one part of the suit pertains to the use of the term "microblender". Rajkovich says the U.S. patent office has already ruled against Maguire Products’ request to trademark the term because microblender has a generic meaning. Maguire is appealing the decision, but Rajkovich contends the reasoning applied by the Patent office on trademarks is straightforward. Rajkovich could not provide details on the other part of the suit which alleges patent infringement pertaining to equipment design, but he claimed that most components in Comet’s GraviMix Micro blender have been on the market for a number of years.
"We’re taking business from him and that’s got him worried. He wants to keep people away from our booth."
Rajkovich said attendance at Comet’s NPE booth was strong and visitors did not seem concerned about the legal proceedings.