PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram Visit the TPC Store
Search the site

 

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Safespan Awarded $5.25M in Patent Case

Monday, November 3, 2014

More items for Health & Safety
More items from North America

Comment | More

After nearly eight years, a leading U.S. manufacturer of bridge platforms and scaffolding has prevailed in a legal battle to protect two critical patents against an employee-turned-competitor.

A federal-court judge in New York has upheld Safespan Platform Systems Inc. of Tonawanda, NY, in its longrunning litigation against former employee Anastasios G. Hatsios and his Buffalo-based companies: EZ Access Inc. and, later, Bridgeplatforms Inc.

SafespanPlatform
Photos: Safespan Platform Systems Inc.

Safespan was awarded more than $5 million for infringements on two platform patents.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara has ordered Hatsios, Bridgeplatforms and other principals of that company to pay a total of $5.25 million—one judgment of $1.5 million and one of $3.75 million—to Safespan, owner Lambros Apostolopoulos, and platform system designer Paul Kristen Inc.

Theft Alleged

Safespan's lawsuit, filed Oct. 31, 2006, alleged patent infringement related to the design of its platforms, which are made to be assembled under a bridge deck to support workers performing maintenance and other work on the bridge.

The platform system involves individual flooring panels that are laid upon horizontal cables that extend beneath the bridge.

Safespan obtained two patents for the system on Oct. 24, 2000, and Oct. 16, 2001.

Hatsios went to work for Safespan on March 1, 1996, and left Jan. 19, 2003, to form his own company. Safespan accused Hatsios of stealing both customer lists and information about Safespan's platform designs while employed there.

'Mimics Everything'

Earlier this year, Arcara agreed that the Hatsios's designs infringed. Indeed, the judge concluded, the issue wasn't even close.

SafespanContainment

The system sold by former Safespan employee Anastasios Hatsios "mimics everything" in equipment patented by Safespan (pictured), the court found.

"Undisputed documentary evidence shows the extent to which Bridgeplatforms’s system includes each and every element, limitation, and feature of [Safespan's] Claim 1," the court found.

After reviewing both companies' designs in detail, the court said that the Bridgeplatforms system "mimics everything" Safeplan contemplated in its complaint.

In fact, the court wrote: "If a reasonable jury read Claim 1 first and then, hypothetically, read a copy of the
Bridgeplatforms installation booklet and hardware catalog with the word 'Bridgeplatforms' redacted, then it would conclude that plaintiffs wrote those documents.

"No reasonable jury could conclude otherwise."

Judgment Award

After Arcara decided the liability issue in the spring, a separate trial focused on damages was held over the summer.

That judgment was returned in late September and released last week.

Hatsios said Friday (Oct. 31) in a phone call that he was "happy with the settlement."

Safespan did not reply to a request for comment.

   

Tagged categories: Access; Bridges; Design; Health and safety; Laws and litigation; Safespan; Work platform

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Clemco Industries Corp.
 
Maximum Dust Suppression Systems Start at $14,950
 
The system comprises proven technology and equipment with user-friendly flexibility in mind. See it in action.
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
Industrial Vacuum Equipment Corp.
 
Hurricane Vacuums
& Dust Collectors
 
Vacuum and dust collector hose, filters and related accessories.
IndustrialVacuum.com
 

 
SEMicro Division, M.E. Taylor Engineering, Inc.
 
Coatings Adhesion Testers
 
The PATTI® accurately measures the bond strength between coating & substrate. Outfitted properly, the surface can be rough, porous, or curved & >10K psi strong!
 

 
Abrasives Inc.
 
The New Look of Black Magic®
 
Black Magic® “The tough stuff” coal slag has a fresh new look. CARB & QPL approved. Call us. Order some today. Abrasives Inc. 800-584-7524
 

 
W Abrasives
 
Steel Abrasives from
W Abrasives
 
As the global leader in steel abrasives, W Abrasives material is the efficient and eco-friendly solution blasting with you to reach the perfect profile.
 

 
Blastox/The TDJ Group, Inc.
 
Webinar On BLASTOX® for One Step Lead Abatement
 
Why Blastox® is truly “One Step”
• Comparison to other lead abatement methods
• Blastox® stabilization & coatings performance
• Collecting waste samples
• COST $AVING$ using Blastox®
 

 
HoldTight Solutions Inc.
 
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS
 
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Safety
 
Removing blasting operators from harmful environments is our key objective.
 

 
Bullard
 
Upgrade with the Bullard GenVX
 
Click here to learn how you can get a GenVX Helmet and Win.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us