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Email A Friend Back to Intellectual Property News - Founder Morrill Worcester Files Patent Infringement Suit

Friday, November 26, 2010

Harrington, ME -- Maine wreath maker Morrill Worcester of has filed suit in United States District Court against retail giant L.L. Bean's current wreath supplier, Whitney Wreath, alleging that the supplier has infringed on patent rights for his miniature table top balsam tree. Worcester owns several patents related to the components and assembly of the tree and the lawsuit alleges that his patent rights have been violated.

The lawsuit refers to an earlier court case from 2002 in which it was adjudged that Worcester's patents were valid.

Worcester explained, "We filed the suit to protect our rights as patent holder. I designed the product and the frame and went through all the proper legal channels to protect it." After L.L. Bean terminated their business relationship in 2009, L.L. Bean did not offer the Table Top Tree. He was surprised to see L.L. Bean had included the Table Top Tree in its 2010 catalogues. Worcester said, "Look at our tree at, then look at theirs, and you be the judge. We felt we had to take steps to protect it. We were particularly concerned that L.L. Bean's 2010 catalogues do not even indicate that the tree was subject to patent protections."

Worcester said that comments by Whitney's attorney in the Bangor Daily News indicating that L.L. Bean and Whitney worked together on designing the tree raised further concerns.

Worcester's attorney, Charles Gilbert of Bangor said, "I represented Worcester's in its earlier lawsuit to protect its patent rights from infringement by Whitney. When these new facts were brought to my attention, I urged Worcester to file suit to protect its hard won legal rights. We expect to prevail in this lawsuit as well. I have advised Worcester not to comment further on the matter as it is in litigation."

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