Friday, July 20, 2012, 5:31 PM

The American Parts Company Files Declaratory Judgment Action Over Firearm Adaptor Kit Patent

On July 16, 2012, The American Parts Company, Inc. of Kennesaw, Georgia ("TAPCO") filed a declaratory judgment action in the Northern District of Georgia against Advanced Technology International USA, LLC of Milwaukee, Wisconsin ("ATI").  TAPCO alleges that in April of 2012, ATI sent a cease-and-desist letter contending that TAPCO infringes at least one claim of U.S. Patent No. 6,374,528 (the "'528 Patent") and stating that ATI would "take the legal steps necessary to insure that no additional infringement occurs" if TAPCO did not reply by May 11, 2012.  TAPCO requests that the Court declare that TAPCO does not infringe any valid and enforceable claim of the '528 Patent, that the '528 Patent is invalid, and that the case is exceptional under 35 U.S.C. ยง 285, warranting an award of attorneys fees and expenses to TAPCO.

The '528 Patent is entitled "Stock And Kit For Accommodating Mounting On A Plurality Of Different Firearms," and issued on April 23, 2002.  According to the specification, the buttstock (or shoulder stock) of firearms, particularly shotguns, must be replaced at certain intervals.  The specification states that replacement stocks are commonly known but that the various types of receivers on firearms require different forms of stocks.  The '528 Patent claims to provide a stock and adaptor kit which allow for the stock to be attached to a plurality of receivers, thus eliminating the need to maintain different replacement stocks.

The case, action number 1:12-cv-02490, has been assigned to Judge Amy Totenberg.

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