Continuing to ride the wave of media interest, tournament success, and the ensuing groundswell of consumer demand, Z-Man Fishing Products announced today that it has successfully reached a settlement with Joe Renosky and Renosky Lure in its lawsuit involving patent and trade dress infringement.
Last June, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Gergel ruled that Renosky unlawfully infringed on a patent covering Z-Man’s hugely popular Original ChatterBait® bladed swim jig, and that Z-Man was entitled to summary judgment on its patent infringement claims. In lieu of going to trial in federal court, Renosky admitted that it willfully infringed Z-Man’s bladed swim jig patent and registered trade dress on its hex-shaped ChatterBlade®. The details of the settlement weren’t released, but a Z-Man spokesman acknowledged that Renosky has agreed to compensate Z-Man for lost sales. In addition, a court-issued injunction stipulates that Renosky is no longer permitted to sell a bladed swim jig that infringes on the Z-Man patent, or any lure that incorporates a hex-shaped blade.
“We are extremely pleased with the settlement,” said Z-Man President, Jonathan Zucker. “We’ve spent a lot of time and money developing the revolutionary ChatterBait® line. We’ve played by the rules, registered our patents, and done our very best to educate the industry about our patents and trademarks.”
“Watching a competitor blatantly copy our patented lure design has been frustrating,” Zucker continued. “Our hope is that the court’s ruling and this settlement will help deter further copycats, ensuring that both our distribution partners and consumers receive only genuine Z-Man products.”
“Litigation is absolutely a last resort for us,” added Z-Man General Manager and Executive Vice President, Daniel Nussbaum. “We’ve only brought two cases into the courts. In both instances, the companies involved were well aware of our intellectual property and purposefully and knowingly showed no respect for it. They really left us no choice.”
“Our goal is not to disrupt any other company’s business, so we hope that the industry pays closer attention to intellectual property law – especially as it relates to our patents and trademarks,” Nussbaum said. “We certainly prefer to focus on our primary objective of offering innovative lures at a good value for anglers. In the last few years, we’ve worked hard to improve the quality of our Original ChatterBait and offer more premium ChatterBait models like the new ChatterBait Elite, and we look forward to focusing on working with our pros to improve the performance and quality of our bladed jigs even more going forward.”