March 9, 2011, OREGON CITY, Ore.- A final judgment has been awarded to Benchmade Knife Company in a case brought by Benchmade and Mentor Group LLC against Jonathan Benson, an internet knife dealer, and his company, RoadsideImports LLC, a Colorado company. The judgment, issued by federal judge Ancer Haggerty of the District of Oregon, finds Defendants Benson and RoadsideImports liable on all counts of the complaint, including patent infringement, trademark infringement, counterfeiting, false advertising, and libel, and enjoins Defendants Benson and RoadsideImports from such conduct in the future.
In issuing the final judgment, the Judge noted that Defendant Jonathan Benson repeatedly missed deadlines and failed to comply with the orders of the court. Earlier this year, Judge Haggerty ordered Benson to pay Benchmade as a sanction for failing to comply with the court’s previous orders.
“We’re very pleased with this ruling from the court,” says Les de Asis, Founder and CEO of Benchmade Knife Company. “Over the past twenty years, we’ve spent a great deal of time and money building the Benchmade brand and we take great pride in building a quality, USA-made product. We’re happy to have this case behind us once and for all.”
Specifically, the Final Judgment and Order against Defendants Jonathan Benson and RoadsideImports, LLC found that:
a. Mentor’s U.S. Patent Nos. 6,550,832 and 6,675,484 are valid and infringed by Defendants;
b. Mentor’s U.S. Patent No. 5,822,866 is valid and infringed by Defendants;
c. Defendants are ENJOINED from further infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,550,832, 6,675,484 and 5,822,866;
d. Defendants have infringed Benchmade’s trademarks BENCHMADE® and BENCHMITE® under 15 U.S.C. § 1114 and under the common law;
e. Use of “Benchmite” and “Benchlite” by Defendants is likely to cause confusion or mistake, or to deceive concerning the origin, sponsorship, affiliation, or association of Defendants or their products with Benchmade under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a);
f. Use of “Benchmite” and “Benchlite” by Defendants is passing off under the common law;
g. Defendants’ use of “Benchmite” in connection with the advertising and sale of a knife substantially identical to Benchmade’s BENCHMITE® knife constitutes use of a counterfeit mark pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1114;
h. Defendants are ENJOINED from use of “Benchmite” or “Benchlite” or any other name or mark confusingly similar thereto when applied to Defendants’ goods or services;
i. Defendants have falsely advertised themselves as an authorized BENCHMADE® dealer under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) and under the common law;
j. Defendants are ENJOINED from representing themselves as authorized dealers of Benchmade knives or otherwise suggesting a relationship with Plaintiffs;
k. Providing a knife made in China in a box bearing “USA Stainless Steel Knife” is a false designation of origin pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a);
l. Defendants are ENJOINED from any activity that states, implies or suggests that products made outside of the U.S.A. are made in the U.S.A.;
m. Defendants shall ensure that all products sold by them are marked with a country of origin in accordance with 19 U.S.C. § 1904;
n. Defendants have defamed and libeled Benchmade by publishing false and defamatory material;
o. Defendants’ false and defamatory statements about Benchmade were willful and malicious with specific intent to damage Benchmade; and
p. Defendants are enjoined from publishing that “Benchmade stole Spyderco’s designs.”
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