Brunswick, Zodiac Drop Suit

Tuesday, February 17, 2004
A lawsuit filed by Zodiac and its affiliated companies against Brunswick Corporation will be dismissed, according to an agreement reached last week by the two companies.

Last summer, Zodiac of North America Inc., Zodiac International and its AVON Inflatables Ltd. Subsidiary filed a lawsuit against Brunswick Corporation that alleged Brunswick's Amanzi 380 Deluxe rigid-hull inflatable boat (RIB) infringed on a Zodiac patent and AVON's trade dress. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, was filed not long after Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation, introduced the Amanzi model.

Zodiac and Brunswick have agreed that the current version of the Amanzi boat is appropriate for sale by Brunswick. Under this agreement, Zodiac agreed not to sue Brunswick and its dealers and will dismiss the current lawsuit.

"We are pleased this issue is now behind us and we can return our focus to the service of our dealers and end customers," said Pat Mackey, president of Mercury Marine.

Zodiac President and Chief Executive Officer J. J. Marie said he, too, was happy to have the issue resolved.

"We are satisfied that the current version of the boat in question has been substantially modified, to the point where we are able to reach a resolution with Brunswick on this patent and trade dress infringement issue," said Marie, adding that Zodiac will continue to vigorously defend its intellectual property rights across the globe.

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