Patent on Rat Trap Allegedly Infringed by Boca Raton, Florida Manufacturer
In an article in the Ventura County Star, Bob Noe, owner of AgriZap, invented a rodent-killing gadget called the Rat Zapper, a milk-carton-sized device which uses four AA batteries to electrocute mice, rats, and other pests that are lured inside by the smell of dry pet food. The Rat Zapper is selling 50,000 to 100,000 units annually, increasing at a rate of 30 percent per year. But the Rat Zapper has become mired in a patent infringement lawsuit, citing fraud, breach of contract, and unfair trade practices.
The trouble began in 2000, when Woodstream Corp., the world’s largest pest control products manufacturer owned by Boca Raton Florida based Brockway Moran & Partners, asked AgriZap to produce Rat Zappers as part of its Victor mousetraps line. During the course of three years, approximately $225,000 in revenue was generated by the partnership in “Victor Rat Zapper” sales.
According to Noe, however, Woodstream dropped AgriZap’s product in 2003, replacing it with its own similar devices dubbed the “Electronic Mousetrap” and the “Electronic Rat Trap.” Noe claims that as a result, Agrizaps profits dropped by about one-third, closing AgriZap out of some of the largest retail chains. Subsequently, AgriZap filed a lawsuit against Woodstream in 2004, claiming damages totaling $13 million to date. The case is still pending.
If you require assistance in the complex realm of patent infringement litigation, I would recommend that you seek the expertise of a patent attorney to resolve the issues in an expeditious and satisfactory manner.