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Christopher & Weisberg Law Firm Announces U.S. Court of Appeals Victory in 6-Year Marine Accessories Manufacturer Patent Infringement Case.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Christopher & Weisberg, an intellectual property law boutique with offices in Florida and Washington, D.C., has won a six-year patent infringement suit on behalf of a manufacturer of boat windows, the firm announced today.

The firm's client, Beckson Marine, Inc.,, of Bridgetport, Conn., won a patent infringement appeal over its self-draining boat windows.

Beckson had sued another boat window maker, NFM Inc., in 1999 in the United States Court in the Western District of Washington, claiming its competitor infringed on its patent issued in 1982 for its self-draining boat windows. The case will now return to District Court to determine damages.

After repeated appeals, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in favor of Beckson (Beckson Marine, Inc. et al. v. NFM, Inc. US Court of Appeals Case No. 04-1531-15430. For full opinion see:

"This is a big victory for our client after a hard-fought six-year case," said Beckson's attorney Allen Brufsky, of Christopher & Weisberg, a Fort Lauderdale, Fl.-based law firm with a Washington, D.C., office. Mr. Brufsky represented Beckson from the initial suit through the final appeals. "This case literally hinges on a hinge, which shows the level of detail required to determine whether a patent infringement stands or fails."

NFM is a Washington corporation that manufactures and sells metal portlights for boats and yachts. Beckson Marine is a marine accessories supplier and manufacturer based in Bridgeport, Conn. Both companies produce self-draining port windows for boats to open from the inside while keeping water from splashing into the boat.

Beckson held a patent for its model from 1980, and NFM started producing a self-draining portlight in 1995. Beckson said NFM's portlight infringed on its invention.

A key issue that led to the decision was the phrase "hingedly connecting" referring to the manner in which the portlight/window connected with the boat's wall. The court says that the structure, purpose and function of the devise must be similar enough for the infringement to exist. The appeals court reversed an earlier district court opinion in NFM's favor, ruling there was indeed an infringement. The equivalent structure will be found if the language in the claims literally reads on the infringing structure.

Christopher & Weisberg is a dynamic intellectual property boutique in Fort Lauderdale and Washington, D.C., prosecuting patents and litigating intellectual property issues on behalf of clients around the world, from inventors to entrepreneurs to multinational corporations.

Mr. Brufsky is a Registered Patent Attorney admitted to practice in the District of Columbia, Florida, Connecticut, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He is also admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court and many federal district and appeals courts. His practice emphasizes patent and trademark litigation. He has been a frequent lecturer on Trademark and Unfair Competition Law at The George Washington University School of Law, in Washington D.C., and is the author of several legal treatises.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 18, 2005
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