Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Z-Man Settles ChatterBait® Patent

Z-Man Settles ChatterBait® Patent
and Trade Dress Lawsuit

Z-Man Fishing Products, Inc. (Z-Man) and Phenix Rod & Bait (Phenix) announce that Phenix has agreed to discontinue all manufacture, marketing and sale of its “Vibrator Jig.”  After the unprecedented success and growth of the ChatterBait®, the “Vibrator Jig” was one of many knock-offs to hit the market.  A lawsuit was filed by Z-Man on March 28, 2011, alleging that Phenix’s “Vibrator Jig” infringed the patent and trade dress rights in the ChatterBait lure. 

“After reviewing the facts of the case and conferring with counsel, Phenix now has a much greater respect and understanding of the intellectual property rights surrounding The Original ChatterBait,” stated Charles Benge, co-owner of Phenix.  The settlement amount was undisclosed, but in addition to a monetary settlement, Phenix has agreed to cease all sales of the “Vibrator Jig” and any other infringing design within sixty (60) days. 

Jonathan Zucker, President of Z-Man, announced:  “We are glad to put this particular matter to rest.  This settlement marks another accomplishment in Z-Man’s policing campaign to protect the intellectual property value in the ChatterBait product line, and we will continue to see to it that all infringers are pursued to the fullest extent of the law.  Our intention is that situations like this will help educate the fishing tackle industry about the importance of respecting the intellectual property rights of others.” 

Patent laws protect the owner from infringers who copy the configuration and/or functionality of the patented device, and trade dress laws protect from unauthorized copying distinctive product designs that have acquired a high degree of recognition with the consuming public.  Z-Man holds an exclusive license to the unique bladed swim-jig design of the ChatterBait and advancements embodied in this breakthrough lure, including two utility patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,627,978 and 7,726,062) and trade dress registration for a hexagonal blade (U.S. Trademark Registration No. 3,505,384).

Z-Man manufactures and sells a full line of bladed swim-jigs, including the Original ChatterBait®, ChatterFrog®, ChatterBait® Pro and Pro-2 Series, ChatterBait® FlashBack® Series, and ChatterBait® Redfish.  In addition to its ChatterBait line, Z-Man manufactures its revolutionary 10X Tough ElaZtech® soft plastic baits and a complete line of saltwater trolling lures.

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