Swimbait manufacturer Huddleston Deluxe has filed a lawsuit against Bass Pro Shops, alleging patent infringement, copyright infringement and unfair competition, according to court documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco last week.
The suit alleges that the Bass Pro Shops Slo Mo Swimmer swimbait (pictured, bottom), along with other product sold online and in stores under the XPS label, violate a patent (known as the 979 patent) held by Huddleston since 2009. The patent covers baits made and sold by Huddleston, such as its 10-inch, 8-inch, 6-inch Trout (pictured, top), 68 Special and Shad swimbaits.
According to the lawsuit, Bass Pro Shops was a retailer that sold Huddleston products, dating back to 2010. A search of the Bass Pro Shops website today yielded no results for Huddleston products.
Samuel “Ken” Huddleston, whose company is based in Las Vegas, expressed disappointment at the situation, according to a release detailing the allegations.
“Bass Pro Shops once sold Huddleston swimbaits in their stores,” he said. “It is unfortunate to see that they now appear to be infringing my patent and even copying the unique, detailed shape of our lures. We attempted to address our concerns without litigation, but received no response. Unfortunately, that left us no option but to take legal action to enforce our rights. We respect and value intellectual property rights, and expect the same of others. We remain disappointed that Bass Pro Shops has failed to respect our legal rights, and we plan to vigorously defend our rights and to succeed in our claims against Bass Pro Shops.”
Huddleston is being represented by Kimberly Donovan of GCA Law Partners, of Mountain View, Calif., and Richard Ogawa of OGAWA PC, in Palo Alto, Calif.