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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE


NASHVILLE DIVISION

MICHELIN NORTH AMERICA, INC., )


)
Plaintiff, )
)
v. ) Civil Action No. ___________________
)
TIRE RECAPPERS OF NASHVILLE, INC., )
)
Defendant. )

COMPLAINT FOR PATENT INFRINGEMENT

Plaintiff Michelin North America, Inc. (Plaintiff or Michelin), for its Complaint

against Defendant Tire Recappers of Nashville, Inc. (Defendant or Tire Recappers), hereby

alleges as follows:

NATURE OF THE ACTION

1. This is a civil action for the infringement of United States Design Patent Nos.

D530,266 (the D266 patent) and D639,235 (the D235 patent) (collectively, patents-in-

suit) under the Patent Laws of the United States, 35 U.S.C. 100 et seq., arising from Tire

Recappers manufacture, use, offer to sell and/or sale of infringing tire products.

THE PARTIES

2. Plaintiff Michelin North America, Inc. is a New York corporation having its

principal place of business at 1 Parkway S., Greenville, South Carolina, 29605, United States.

3. Upon information and belief, Defendant Tire Recappers of Nashville, Inc. is a

Tennessee corporation having its principal place of business at 3000 Nolensville Pike, Nashville,

Tennessee, 37211, United States. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers also possesses

four warehouses for product storage in the Nashville, Tennessee area.

Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 1 of 11 PageID #: 1


JURISDICTION AND VENUE

4. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this complaint pursuant to 28

U.S.C. 1331 and 1338(a), because this is an action arising under the Patent Laws of the

United States, 35 U.S.C. 100 et seq.

5. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Tire Recappers because (a) Tire

Recappers is a Tennessee corporation having its principal place of business in Nashville,

Tennessee, (b) upon information and belief, Tire Recappers regularly conducts business in

Tennessee through the manufacture and/or sale of products in Tennessee, and (c) Tire Recappers

committed tortious acts within the state of Tennessee giving rise to this action.

6. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. 1391(b) and (c), and/or 1400(b), because Tire

Recappers is subject to personal jurisdiction in this district, and Tire Recappers has committed

acts of patent infringement in this District.

THE PATENTS-IN-SUIT

7. On October 17, 2006, the D266 patent, entitled Tire Tread, was duly and

legally issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). A true and correct copy of

the D266 patent is attached as Exhibit A. The D266 patent is valid, enforceable and currently

in full force and effect.

8. Michelin is the owner and assignee of all substantial rights, title and interest in the

D266 patent, including the right to bring this action and enforce the D266 patent against

infringers, and to collect damages for all relevant times.

9. On June 7, 2011, the D235 patent, entitled Tire Tread, was duly and legally

issued by the USPTO. A true and correct copy of the D235 patent is attached as Exhibit B.

The D235 patent is valid, enforceable and currently in full force and effect.

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Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 2 of 11 PageID #: 2
10. Michelin is the owner and assignee of all substantial rights, title and interest in the

D235 patent, including the right to bring this action and enforce the D235 patent against

infringers, and to collect damages for all relevant times.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

11. Michelin is a leader in tire manufacture and innovation, and it conducts business

in the United States, including in Tennessee. Michelins tire brands include Michelin,

BFGoodrich and Uniroyal.

12. Michelin makes, sells and promotes tire products whose ornamental tire tread

designs are protected by the D266 patent. These products include BFGoodrich T/A KM2 tires.

BFGoodrich T/A KM2 tires are offered for sale and/or sold in the United States, including in

Tennessee.

13. Michelin makes, sells and promotes tire products whose ornamental tire tread

designs are protected by the D235 patent. These products include Michelin LTX M/S 2 tires.

LTX M/S 2 tires are offered for sale and/or sold in the United States, including in Tennessee.

14. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers offers tire recapping services in the

Nashville, Tennessee area. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers manufactures tires

using a hot recapping process where the tread design is formed during the molding and curing

process while bonding the tread rubber to the carcass.

15. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers owns and operates the website

www.tirerecappers.com. Through its website and at its principal place of business, Tire

Recappers offers tire products for sale, including retread tires. These tire products include Tire

Recappers Cross Grip M/T tires, and All Position Highway 2 tires.

-3-
Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 3 of 11 PageID #: 3
CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF:


(INFRINGEMENT OF THE D266 PATENT)

16. Michelin hereby incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-15 as if fully set forth

herein.

17. The claimed design of the D266 patent is shown in Figures 1 and 2 of the patent

and described in the accompanying figure descriptions. See Exhibit A. Representative images

are below:

18. Tire Recappers offers the Cross Grip M/T tires for sale, including through its

website.1 A representative image of a Cross Grip M/T tire from Tire Recappers website is

below:

1
See https://www.tirerecappers.com/tires/mud-terrain-tires/lt26570r17-retread-cross-grip-mt/
(last accessed on July 6, 2017); see also
https://www.tirerecappers.com/?s=cross+grip+m%2Ft&post_type=product (listing various other
Cross Grip M/T products).

-4-
Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 4 of 11 PageID #: 4
19. In the eye of the ordinary observer familiar with the relevant prior art, giving such

attention as a purchaser usually gives, the claimed design of the D266 patent and the tread

design of at least Tire Recappers Cross Grip M/T tires are substantially the same, such that the

ordinary observer would be deceived into believing that the tread design of Tire Recappers

Cross Grip M/T tire is the design claimed in the D266 patent.

20. Michelin did not give Tire Recappers authorization or license to make, use, offer

to sell, or sell the infringing products.

21. Tire Recappers has directly infringed, and continues to directly infringe, the

D266 patent by making, using, offering to sell, selling and/or importing tires, including Cross

Grip M/T tires, having substantially the same ornamental design as the design claimed in the

D266 patent, in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) and 289.

22. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers also induced, and continues to

induce, others to infringe the D266 patent by encouraging and promoting the use and/or sale by

-5-
Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 5 of 11 PageID #: 5
others of tires that infringe the D266 patent, including but not limited to Cross Grip M/T tires, in

violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b).

23. Tire Recappers has had actual knowledge of the D266 patent since at least the

date on which Tire Recappers received service of the complaint in this action.

24. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers has sold and continues to sell, offer

to sell, distribute and market tire products that infringe the D266 patent, including the Cross

Grip M/T tires, to end consumers and/or resellers with the intent that these parties will use,

market, offer to sell and/or sell the products in the United States in a manner that infringes the

D266 patent.

25. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers knew or should have known that the

use, marketing, offering to sell and selling of the infringing products by Tire Recappers or its

resellers and/or customers would directly infringe the D266 patent.

26. Tire Recappers direct and induced infringement of the D266 patent has caused

and will continue to cause damage to Michelin.

27. Tire Recappers direct and induced infringement has also caused and will

continue to cause irreparable harm to Michelin unless and until such infringing conduct is

enjoined pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 283 and/or the equitable powers of this Court.

28. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers acts of infringement have been or

will be undertaken with knowledge of the D266 patent. Such acts constitute willful

infringement and make this case exceptional pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 284 and 285, and entitle

Michelin to enhanced damages and reasonable attorney fees.

-6-
Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 6 of 11 PageID #: 6
SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF:
(INFRINGEMENT OF THE D235 PATENT)

29. Michelin hereby incorporates by reference paragraphs 1-28 as if fully set forth

herein.

30. The claimed design of the D235 patent is shown in Figures 1 through 3 of the

patent and described in the accompanying figure descriptions. See Exhibit B. Representative

images are below:

31. Tire Recappers offers the All Position Highway 2 tires for sale, including through

its website.2 A representative image of an All Position Highway 2 tire from Tire Recappers

website is below:

2
See https://www.tirerecappers.com/tires/light-trucks-tires/p27555r20-retread-all-position-
highway-2/ (last accessed on July 6, 2017); see also
https://www.tirerecappers.com/?s=all+position+highway+2&post_type=product (listing various
other All Position Highway 2 products).

-7-
Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 7 of 11 PageID #: 7
32. In the eye of the ordinary observer familiar with the relevant prior art, giving such

attention as a purchaser usually gives, the claimed design of the D235 patent and the tread

design of at least Tire Recappers All Position Highway 2 tires are substantially the same, such

that the ordinary observer would be deceived into believing that the tread design of Tire

Recappers All Position Highway 2 tire is the design claimed in the D235 patent.

33. Michelin did not give Tire Recappers authorization or license to make, use, offer

to sell, or sell the infringing products.

34. Tire Recappers has directly infringed, and continues to directly infringe, the

D235 patent by making, using, offering to sell, selling and/or importing tires, including All

Position Highway 2 tires, having substantially the same ornamental design as the design claimed

in the D235 patent, in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(a) and 289.

35. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers also induced, and continues to

induce, others to infringe the D235 patent by encouraging and promoting the use and/or sale by

-8-
Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 8 of 11 PageID #: 8
others of tires that infringe the D235 patent, including but not limited to All Position Highway 2

tires, in violation of 35 U.S.C. 271(b).

36. Tire Recappers has had actual knowledge of the D266 patent since at least the

date on which Tire Recappers received service of the complaint in this action.

37. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers has sold and continues to sell, offer

to sell, distribute and market tire products that infringe the D235 patent, including the All

Position Highway 2, to end consumers and/or resellers with the intent that these parties will use,

market, offer to sell and/or sell the products in the United States in a manner that infringes the

D235 patent.

38. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers knew or should have known that the

use, marketing, offering to sell and selling of the infringing products by Tire Recappers or its

resellers and/or customers would directly infringe the D235 patent.

39. Tire Recappers direct and induced infringement of the D235 patent has caused

and will continue to cause damage to Michelin.

40. Tire Recappers direct and induced infringement has also caused and will

continue to cause irreparable harm to Michelin unless and until such infringing conduct is

enjoined pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 283 and/or the equitable powers of this Court.

41. Upon information and belief, Tire Recappers acts of infringement have been or

will be undertaken with knowledge of the D235 patent. Such acts constitute willful

infringement and make this case exceptional pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 284 and 285, and entitle

Michelin to enhanced damages and reasonable attorney fees.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, Michelin respectfully requests the following relief:

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Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 9 of 11 PageID #: 9
A. Entry of a judgment that Tire Recappers has directly and/or indirectly infringed

the D266 patent and that such infringement has been willful;

B. Entry of a judgment that Tire Recappers has directly and/or indirectly infringed

the D235 patent and that such infringement has been willful;

C. Entry of a permanent injunction against Tire Recappers, pursuant to 35 U.S.C.

283 and/or the equitable powers of this Court, to prevent further direct and/or induced

infringement of the D266 patent;

D. Entry of a permanent injunction against Tire Recappers, pursuant to 35 U.S.C.

283 and/or the equitable powers of this Court, to prevent further direct and/or induced

infringement of the D235 patent;

E. An award of damages, in an amount to be determined, adequate to compensate

Michelin for the infringement that has occurred, pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 284;

F. An Order requiring Tire Recappers to account for and pay to Michelin any and all

profits made by Tire Recappers from sales of its infringing products pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 289;

G. An Order requiring Tire Recappers to pay Michelin its costs and attorneys fees in

this action pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 285 and/or other applicable laws;

H. Such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

- 10 -
Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1 Filed 07/10/17 Page 10 of 11 PageID #: 10
Date: July 10, 2017 /s/ James A. Haltom _
James A. Haltom (BPRN 28495)
NELSON, MULLINS, RILEY & SCARBOROUGH LLP
One Nashville Place
150 Fourth Avenue, North
Suite 1100
Nashville, TN 37219
Phone: (615) 664-5339
Facsimile: (615) 664-5399

John D. Murnane (pro hac vice admission forthcoming)


FITZPATRICK, CELLA, HARPER & SCINTO
1290 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10104-3800
Phone: (212) 218-2100
Facsimile: (212) 218-2200

Justin J. Oliver (pro hac vice admission forthcoming)


Jason M. Dorsky (pro hac vice admission forthcoming)
FITZPATRICK, CELLA, HARPER & SCINTO
975 F Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
Phone: (202) 530-1010
Facsimile: (202) 530-1055

Attorneys for Plaintiff Michelin North America, Inc.

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Case 3:17-cv-01015 Document 1-3 Filed 07/10/17 Page 2 of 2 PageID #: 20