Australian Court Validates XHose Patents

E. Mishan & Sons, Inc. (Emson) announced that Blue Gentian LLC, owner of patents for the XHose expandable hose, has enforced two Australian patents (Nos. 2012101797 and 2013100354, entitled “Expandable and Contractible Hose”) against Product Management Group Pty Ltd., a distributor of the Telebrands Pocket Hose.

The Federal Court of Australia ruled in early December after a three-day trial that the two Australian XHose patents are valid and directly and indirectly infringed by the Telebrands Pocket Hose, according to a release by Emson.

According to the Emson release, the Australian court ruling follows a December 2013 judgment by High Court in London upholding the validity of the XHose British Patent 2490276 in a lawsuit against Tristar Products Inc. and its UK counterpart, Tristar Product (UK) Limited, supplier of the Flexable Hose. Tristar has appealed the UK judgment.

Multiple XHose patent litigations with Telebrands and Tristar are presently pending in the United States, according to Emson. Blue Gentian and Emson are continuing to secure patents and other intellectual property protections in multiple countries, according to the Emson release.

Jeff Snow, Telebrands’ U.S. legal counsel, issued the following statement regarding the Australian patent ruling:

“Telebrands firmly believes that the Australian court erred in holding Blue Gentian’s patents valid and infringed. The judge applied the wrong legal standard for invalidating the patents and misconstrued the patent claims, and the court’s decision is being appealed to the Full Court for a complete review.  

“The Australian court’s decision,” Snow continued, “is contrary to the numerous successful legal outcomes Telebrands has obtained throughout the world to fend off Blue Gentian’s assertions of its derivative intellectual property, including a determination of invalidity of Blue Gentian’s corresponding Canadian patent… and the French court’s denial of Blue Gentian’s application for a preliminary injunction based on its European design registrations.”