Shane Miles, owner of MSA 4X4 Accessories, invented the first drop down fridge slide in 2007 and was awarded a patent in Australia and internationally.
Due to the large scale popularity and commercial interest in Mr Miles’ product, he has had to attribute a significant amount of time and money to defending his design from cheap imitations of his product.
Most notably in March of 2016, Glynton Chislett of Australian Ute Trays and Bodies Pty Ltd, began to sell a copy of Mr Miles’ drop slide that was in breach of his patent.
When challenged, Mr Chislett gave undertakings to stop selling the infringing product.
Less than 12 months later Mr Chislett again started selling the infringing product under a new company name.
Mr Miles said:
“After having given undertakings to stop infringing my patent, Mr Chislett flagrantly commenced selling a cheap imitation of my product forcing me to commence legal proceedings against him and some of his companies.”
On 21 August 2017 the Federal Court of Australia ordered that Mr Chislett and his companies, Isipinqo Investments Pty Ltd and DC & GC Investments Pty Ltd, infringed on MSA 4X4’s drop slide patent by manufacturing and importing an imitation of Mr Miles’ product into Australia and were in breach of Mr Miles’ exclusive rights to the drop slide’s design.
MSA 4X4 is a long standing Australian company who are extremely passionate about providing innovative and quality four-wheel-drive products.
Mr Miles says “Our drop slides are engineered to perform at the highest level and are supported by a Lifetime Guarantee,”
“It’s disgraceful to see the livelihood of small Aussie businesses being ripped off by patent infringers.
It seems to be an industry trend now that these companies come along and think they can steal the hard-earned designs and ideas of other companies who have put in the extensive time and money to develop new and innovative products.
We have 14 original designs now, many that have been ripped off by other companies because we didn’t understand the patent process when we invented them. What’s even worse is that some of these companies even go as far as to claim them as their own designs.”
Mr Miles explains that it can take him up to three years to finalise a new product design and have it launched in to the market. It can therefore take a significant amount of time to recoup that initial investment.
Mr Miles says “It would be hard to continue to spend money on innovating new products when companies who behave like vultures and scavenge on other people’s product ideas, are waiting in the sidelines to send it to a cheap Chinese factory to have it copied with inferior materials” .
Unfortunately, while the law is on the side of Mr Miles, MSA 4X4 must still go through the expensive and time consuming process of going through the courts to have imitations of his product removed and claim money lost.
One would have to question the ethics behind selling copies of original products, but until there’s naming and shaming of these infringing companies, it will never get better.
This is a big win for the true R&D companies in the Australian four-wheel-drive and auto industry that register their intellectual property and have the right to enforce them.
Read more from 4X4 Australia Magazine here: https://www.4x4australia.com.au/news/1709/msa-4x4-wins-patent-case
Read more from Go Auto News Premium here: http://premium.goauto.com.au/4wd-accessory-maker-big-win/
Read more from Caravan Industry News here: http://www.caravanindustrynews.com.au/general-news/msa-4x4-wins-patent-infringement-prosecution-drop-slides/
Read more from the Automotive Electrical & Air Conditioning News (AAEN) here https://www.aaen.com.au/patent-infringement-prosecution/
Read more from the AAAA (Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association) here: https://www.aaaa.com.au/news/aaaa-members-in-the-news/msa-4x4-wins-patent-case/