Bass Pro Shops sued by former supplier in lure dispute
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Bass Pro Shops is being sued by one of its former suppliers for allegedly copying patented lure designs.
Huddleston Deluxe, of Las Vegas, has filed a patent infringement, copyright infringement and unlawful competition lawsuit in the US District Court for the Northern District of California against the giant fishing tackle and outdoor sporting goods retailer.
The papers allege that certain Bass Pro Shops products sold under the XPS brand incorporate Huddleston’s patented swimbait invention and copy the company’s distinctive design. It is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction, damages and attorney’s fees in the litigation.
On the company’s Facebook page, Huddleston CEO Samuel ‘Ken’ Huddleston expressed disappointment at the situation. “Bass Pro Shops once sold Huddleston swimbaits in its stores. It is unfortunate to see they now appear to be infringing my patent and even copying the unique, detailed shape of our lures.
“We attempted to address our concerns without litigation, but received no response. Unfortunately, that left us with no option but to take legal action to enforce our rights. We respect intellectual property rights and expect the same of others. We remain disappointed that Bass Pro Shops has failed to respect our legal rights and we plan to vigorously defend our rights and to succeed in our claim against Bass Pro Shops.”
Huddleston’s attorney, Kimberly Donovan, of GCA Law Partners. said: “Typically we hear about large scale patent litigation involving huge companies, but patent infringement can also involve a small inventor and craftsman who developed his livelihood around his invention and creativity. This is the case here. Ken Huddleston was an innovator in the swimbait field, developing lures that imitate natural swimming motion and tail movements of fish.
“It is unfortunate to see a large company profiting off his invention and design through mass-produced knock-offs sold at very low prices, as alleged in this lawsuit.”
A Bass Pro Shops spokesman said that the company does not comment on pending litigation.