CYPRESS, Calif.—The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California has entered a default judgment of $16.7 million against Hong Kong Tri-Ace Wheel & Tire Corp. and Jinlin Ma, its founder, owner and manager, in favor of Toyo Tire Corp. and Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.
The federal court also enjoined HKTA and Ma against selling AMP M/T tire or any other HKTA tire that infringes on Toyo's design patents, Toyo said.
The Sept. 18 verdict included $16.4 million in compensatory damages and $331,186 in attorneys' fees, according to Toyo.
Toyo filed a motion for default judgment after HKTA, and Ma did not respond to Toyo's complaint, Toyo said.
A spokesman from HKTA declined to comment.
The judgment is part of a long-standing legal action Toyo has taken against multiple Chinese tire manufacturers it accused of making and selling tires based on patented Toyo designs.
Toyo filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission in August 2013, accusing HKTA and 21 other Chinese tire makers of patent and trade dress infringement.
The Central California lawsuit, against HKTA and three other corporations, was filed in January 2014. Toyo specifically accused HKTA of copying Toyo's Open Country M/T tire in its AMP M/T.
The U.S. District Court imposed $1.56 million in contempt sanctions in 2017 against Doublestar Dong Feng Tyre Co. Ltd. and Qingdao Doublestar Tire Industrial Co. Ltd. for violating a 2014 judgment prohibiting the manufacture and sale of tires using a tread similar to that of the Toyo Open Country M/T.
That case also involved the AMP M/T tire.
In 2014, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued limited exclusion orders and cease-and-desist orders against eight U.S. importers/distributors of tires that Toyo claimed were infringing on Toyo patents, including those for the Open Country M/T.
Iori Suzuki, chairman, president and CEO of Toyo Tires Holdings of Americas Inc., said he was pleased that the Central California court and other federal courts are recognizing Toyo's property rights.
"Toyo will continue to relentlessly and unwaveringly pursue those who violate our rights," Suzuki said.