MacSports’ Win Encourages Free Competition Among Industry Rivals
LOS ANGELES – May 10, 2021 – Musick Peeler announced today that its Partner Daniel J. Woods scored a major victory for client MacSports at the International Trade Commission (ITC) after a protracted battle.
“This victory is not only a win for MacSports that is now free to sell its chairs without fear of reprisal, but it is also a win for free competition as the ruling did not allow GCI, the dominant player in the market for this type of chair, to exclude innovative competitors from entering the market,” said Woods.
In October 2019, GCI Outdoor, Inc. commenced an investigation at the ITC where it accused one of its competitors and Musick Peeler client MacSports, Inc. and others of infringing its patent on portable, collapsible rocking chairs (Certain Collapsible and Portable Furniture, ITC Inv. No. 337-TA-1178).
After lengthy pre-hearing proceedings, in December 2020, an ITC Administrative Law Judge in Washington D.C. conducted a three-day, remote, evidentiary hearing involving lawyers and witnesses from around the country. After post-hearing briefing, in February 2021, the Administrative Law Judge issued a 300-page decision in which he found that the MacSports chairs did not infringe the GCI patent. Mr. Woods’ devastating cross-examination of GCI’s expert witness was critical to this finding.
GCI then asked the full ITC to review and overturn the Administrative Law Judge’s decision and Mr. Woods opposed that petition on behalf of MacSports. On May 6, 2021, the full ITC issued its decision affirming the finding that MacSports’ chairs did not infringe the patent and terminated the investigation.