Weiland Sliding Doors and Windows Inc. has filed a suit against Panda Windows and Doors alleging patent infringement. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on March 30.

Weiland alleges that Panda infringed on U.S. Patent 7,007,343 (the ‘343 patent) and U.S. Patent 6,792,651 (the ‘651 patent), which are said to cover two inventions by Weiland founder William R. Weiland and relate to drainage systems often found in “lift and slide” doors.

“[Panda] has offered for sale and sold, and continues to offer for sale and sell tracks that have identical drainage systems to the system which Weiland protected by the ‘343 and ‘651 patents, throughout the United States, including in this judicial district,” writes Weiland in its complaint.

Weiland goes on to assert that Panda “knew of Weiland’s patent rights from the time of the first such product manufactured by Defendant, in part, because the products of Defendant appear to be copies of those from Weiland.”

In addition to patent infringement, Weiland alleges that Panda “induced and is inducing” the alleged infringement by “advertising, promoting, providing instructions and brochures on the assembly, installation use and sale of the patented inventions in such a manner as to actively induce infringement of the Plaintiff’s patents in the United States and specifically in this Southern District of California, and will continue such infringement unless enjoined by this court.”

Weiland is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction against Panda, damages related to the charges “in an amount yet to be ascertained,” attorneys fees and court costs, and that Panda “be required to cancel any purchase orders for infringing products and destroy all inventory of the same,” according to the complaint.

Panda owner Avi Shoshan says the disagreement regarding the patents began more than two years ago.

“Panda was contacted by Weiland more than two years ago about the same patents that are the subject of this California lawsuit,” says Shoshan in an exclusive statement provided to DWM magazine. “At that time, we advised Weiland that we were not aware of any Panda product that was covered by a Weiland patent. We asked Weiland to notify us within a specified time frame if it had a different view—otherwise, we explained, Panda would assume that Weiland agreed that no Panda product was covered by a Weiland patent. Weiland never responded to that letter, showing that it agreed with Panda on this issue.”

Shoshan says the Panda product referenced in the suit has been on the market since at least 2005.

He adds, “It is our view that Weiland has brought suit now to try to interfere with Panda’s business relationships, and to try to win business from Panda’s customers.”

Shoshan also says Panda’s attorneys have advised Weiland via letter “that if they do not stop this interference, and if they do not drop the lawsuit, Panda will have no alternative but to file suit against Weiland for this conduct.”

CLICK HERE for statement from Weiland regarding the suit.

CLICK HERE to read April 19 letter from Panda’s attorney Jeffrey Weiss of Weiss and Moy P.C. to Weiland regarding the suit.

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