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Sealegs get High Court injunction to protect technology ahead of lawsuit

Tuesday 20th December 2016

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Sealegs International says it has obtained a High Court injunction to protect its intellectual property from being copied ahead of a trial set for September next year.

Auckland-based Sealegs, which manufactures and sells amphibious boats and systems in New Zealand and overseas, sought the injunction against Orion Marine and Smuggler Marine and some former Sealegs employees last September for the alleged copying and infringement of its amphibious design.  The boats, which can be driven down a boat ramp or beach straight into the water, are used for recreation and for rescue and patrol.     

In the ruling, published Monday, Justice Mary Peters of the High Court in Auckland placed an immediate order on Orion Marine, Smuggler Marine and others involved which prevents them from copying, offering for sale, showing to the public or adapting their design.

Smuggler Marine managing director David Pringle wasn’t immediately available for comment but was seeking legal advice. The company no longer advertises amphibious rigid-inflatable boats on its website, with that page of the site 'under construction'. Orion Marine, a marine hydraulic systems specialist, was also not available.

A four-week trial is set to commence Sept. 25.  In a statement, a Sealegs spokesman said that the company will now be “vigorously pursuing” those involved for all costs and damages.

Sealegs shares were unchanged at 9.2 cents and have declined 16 percent this year.

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