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Company takes direct action at trade show over alleged patent offenses

PennEngineering® took its complaint against alleged patent infringement to the show floor on Oct. 18 at the International Fastener Expo.

A press release said that PennEngineering initiated a patent and trademark infringement action against Dongguan Fenggang Pinconn Hardware Factory (Pinconn) that alleges patent infringement, trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and counterfeiting under United States law, as well as common law trademark infringement and unfair competition. Simultaneously, PennEngineering served Pinconn with a preliminary injunction order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania "and effected removal of all Pinconn’s signage, advertising materials, and infringing product" at Pinconn’s trade show booth on Oct. 18, during the annual International Fastener Expo.

The court order enjoined Pemco Hardware Inc., Dongguan Fenggang Pemco Hardware Factory, and Shenzhen Pemco Fastening Systems Co., Ltd. ("Pemco") from commercializing similar infringing products.

The order was enforced against Pinconn because it applied to corporations and companies "acting in concert with" Pemco, the release said. Pinconn’s website showed the close relationship between Pinconn and Pemco. The Pennsylvania court order was issued because Pemco did not respond to an infringement complaint or appear at a preliminary injunction hearing in Pennsylvania.

"These actions are part of (our) ongoing strategy ... to zealously protect its intellectual property rights, including patents, brand names, product markings, logos, copyrights, etc.," the release said. "PennEngineering invests heavily in innovation to provide customers with leading-edge products. These actions are aimed at protecting PennEngineering customers by assuring they are receiving genuine PEM products."

In other news, PennEngineering is expanding its operations in Galway, Ireland, with a new 80,000-sq-ft manufacturing and research facility.

The new facility, a press release said, will become the primary manufacturing site for all PEM® self-clinching fastener products sold throughout Europe. Customers will include the industrial, automotive, electronics, medical, energy, and aviation sectors. The site will also house a new R&D center and an application engineering center.

The expansion will increase the size of the Galway operations to more than 200,000 sq ft. The site currently employs 200 employees. PennEngineering first launched operations in Galway in 2001, when it acquired Precision Steel Components.

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