Skip to main content

Master Lock loses patent infringement case

A federal jury said Master Lock Co. infringed on patents for receiver lock technology used in towing applications and ordered the company to pay $5.35 million to inventor Philip Wyers, owner of Wyers Products Group Inc.

Wyers said the verdict validates his belief that small businesses like his must defend their patent rights, despite the legal hurdles and costs involved.

"I feel it is important to send a strong message to the industry giants that there are consequences for violating an individual's patent rights, and not just for myself but for all of the small businesses out there," he said in a statement.

Master Lock plans to appeal the verdict.

"Master Lock will vigorously pursue an appeal to overturn the verdict in this case," said Rebecca Smith, vice president of retail marketing, in a statement. "Master Lock remains confident in its position that the patents in question are invalid and that it will ultimately prevail through the appeals process."

Wyers sells his locks under the national brand name Trimax Locks. His Centennial, Colo.-based company specializes in the design and manufacture of lock products for trailer and tow, recreational vehicle, power sports and bicycles.

On March 10, Federal District Court Judge Lewis T. Babcock ruled that Master Lock infringed on three of Wyers' patents.

Master Lock had argued that each of the patents was invalid for a variety of reasons, but the judge ruled in Wyers' favor on three of Master Lock's claims for invalidity.

The matter proceeded to verdict on the remaining issues of patent validity and damages. On March 11, the jury upheld the validity of all three patents, thereby affirming infringement, and awarded Wyers $5,350,000 in monetary damages.

Click here for the full release.



2022 Women in the Industry Summit, Leadership Panel, Awards Ceremony & Reception



Seabins Coming to Lake Erie

The devices, deployed as part of a pilot program, skim and collect debris from the water, including microplastics. Meanwhile, MBIA announces scholarship funds.


Boatsetter Reports Uptick in Rentals

The on-water experience company has seen triple-digit growth in pontoon and party-boat rentals, as well as fishing and yacht charters.


Smartgyro Signs Distributors, Hires Sales Manager

The company said the three U.S. distributors, working with Bob Walker, will help expand its dealer network and brand recognition.


The Upside of a Downturn

Economic challenges should push you to develop a strategy that helps you weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.


Marine Travelift Launches Co-op Program

The company received its first student, a University of Wisconsin engineering major, in the seven-month paid co-op.


Trade Only Today Returns Tuesday

The e-newsletter will not publish July 4 in observance of Independence Day. We wish everyone a safe holiday weekend.


ORR Announces Federally Funded Projects

The U.S. Economic Development Administration prioritized outdoor recreation for the first time