Settling a patent and trademark infringement suit filed last year by Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, Midwest Truck and Auto Parts and its heavy-duty distribution division, World American Auto Parts, have agreed to stop selling copies of Bendix patented products. The out-of-court settlement also calls for the distributor to cease misusing Bendix trademarks in its literature and packaging.
One of the industry's leading critics of knockoffs and counterfeits in the parts aftermarket, Bendix filed the patent and trademark suit last Oct. in the U.S. District Court in Chicago. The lawsuit charged that Midwest sold heavy-duty vehicle air brake components that infringed on a number of the company's patents and improperly used the Bendix trademarks. It also alleged that such improper use of the trademarks “was likely to cause confusion among purchasers who may think they're buying genuine Bendix replacement parts,” according to a statement released by Bendix CVS.
“At Bendix, we've seen firsthand how high-volume parts — in particular, air brake system components such as valves and air dryers — are among the most commonly counterfeited parts in commercial trucking,” said John Flad, vp-aftermarket sales. “In addition to counterfeiting, we're facing blatant copying of our technology, trademarks, logos, packaging and more. The infiltration and impact of these offshore inferior parts has clearly reached a new dimension.”