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Sealegs wins copyright infringement case

Future Mobility Solutions, parent of Sealegs amphibious boats, said it has prevailed in a copyright infringement case against a competitor. Sealegs said that the High Court of New Zealand ruled in its favor against Orion Marine Limited, Darren Leybourne, Smuggler Marine Limited, Yun Zhang and David Pringle.

“We welcome competition in the market but we will not stand by and watch unlawful business practices such as stealing or copying patented technology,” said Eric Series, chairman of Future Mobility Solutions in an online statement. “If a company can simply steal another’s technologies and use it in their own products – there is no incentive for companies to build their own R&D programs. Sealegs hold the rights to those innovations, through its hard work, therefore deserve the benefits and return on that investment.” Series said his company will “do what it takes” to protect its patents.

The company said that investigative research indicates there was premeditated desire to copy Sealegs Patented Amphibious Technology. The court has granted Sealegs a permanent injunction against the defendants and said damages are due. A second hearing will be held about court costs and damages.

The High Court determined that the defendants, including two former Sealeg employees, infringed on the Sealegs’ copyright with the design of retractable wheels to convert boats into amphibious vehicles. Leybourne and designed an amphibious vehicle system for Smuggler Marine, which builds boats.

Following the order, Sealegs said: “We are very pleased with successfully securing this High Court judgement which, as we expected, showed that the defendants had unlawfully copied the Sealegs amphibious design.”

Sealegs said the court proceedings cost it more than NZ$1 million. 

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