Axxiom Manufacturing Inc., a major manufacturer of abrasive blast equipment, has filed suit against Forecast Sales, a maker of aftermarket parts and supplies for the abrasive blasting industry. The suit alleges that Forecast Sales has used “deceptive business practices and has infringed Axxiom copyrights” in connection with the sale of products.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Houston, TX, alleges that Forecast Sales has used “identical Axxiom part numbers” on products, and has “copied the artwork, look and feel of Axxiom printed materials in an attempt to deceive consumers and cause confusion in the marketplace as to the actual source of abrasive blasting equipment.” The suit further states that consumers have ordered products or parts using Forecast “look-alike” sales materials carrying Axxiom part numbers, believing they were buying Axxiom products, but actually were delivered Forecast products with no indication that the part delivered were not genuine Axxiom products.”
The suit seeks unspecified damages and an injunction “preventing Forecast Sales from continuing to cause confusion in the marketplace by using Axxiom’s copyrighted materials and part numbers,” said Shawn Staples, an attorney representing Axxiom. Staples said a preliminary hearing date has been scheduled for March 26, 2010, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in Houston.
Brian McCoy, president of Forecast Sales, said Monday the company was in the process of reviewing the Axxiom lawsuit. “It would be premature to comment at this time, except to say the lawsuit really has no merit.” McCoy said. Forecast Sales is based in Indianapolis, IN.
Patrick Smith, an attorney with the firm representing Forecast Sales, said, “We don’t know much other than what’s stated in the petition, and we’re in the process of learning what’s involved in the case.” Smith is with the Houston law firm of Ramsey & Murray.
In a statement issued by company president John Pirotte, Axxiom described the lawsuit as a “last resort to protect itself, its customers and its distributors from marketplace confusion caused by Forecast Sales.” Axxiom’s equipment brands include the Schmidt, G2 Deadman, Thompson Valve, Thompson Valve II, MicroValve, MV, MV2, and ComboValve lines. The company is based in Fresno, TX.