SPOKANE, Wash.—A federal judge in the Eastern Washington district court has granted OTR Wheel Engineering Inc.'s motion for reconsideration, reversing his earlier order vacating OTR's trade secret claims against defendant West Worldwide Services Inc.
Judge Lonny R. Suko had vacated his previous order granting summary judgment on OTR's claim that West Worldwide and its supplier—Shandong Hawk Rubber Co. Ltd., also known as Superhawk—were using OTR's trade secrets to manufacture counterfeit tires using OTR's “Outrigger” trade name.
However, in considering OTR's motion for reconsideration, Suko determined he committed “clear error” in vacating summary judgment. His new decision means the case will go to trial.
“This reconsideration was not based on new evidence, but on evidence already in the record,” Suko said in his March 21 reconsideration order.
OTR produced sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Superhawk is using OTR's unique blend of steel and nylon reinforcing materials, as well as its phased method of construction using specific types of rubber, Suko ruled.
“The fact that Plaintiffs have not produced the actual written instructions is not dispositive of the question of whether Plaintiffs have identifiable trade secrets and does not allow the court to rule as a matter of law that Plaintiffs do not have identifiable trade secrets,” Suko wrote.
Because the trade secrets claim was reinstated, Suko set deadlines for the continuation of the case. Amended exhibit and witness lists and new deposition designations are due by April 18, he ruled.
OTR filed its case against West Worldwide in April 2014, alleging that West Worldwide was selling counterfeit Outrigger tires, using trade secrets that Superhawk had obtained in a previous production agreement with a predecessor company to OTR.
Judge Suko granted OTR a preliminary injunction against West Worldwide in May 2014.