SPOKANE, Wash.A federal judge in the Eastern Washington district court has granted OTR Wheel Engineering Inc.'s motion for reconsideration, reversing his earlier order vacating the company's trade secret claims against defendant West Worldwide Services Inc.
Judge Lonny R. Suko had vacated his previous order granting summary judgment on the claim by Rome, Ga.-based OTR Wheela distributor of off-the-road tires and wheelsthat West Worldwide and its supplierShandong Hawk Rubber Co. Ltd., also known as Superhawkwere using OTR Wheel's trade secrets to manufacture counterfeit tires using OTR Wheel's Outrigger trade name.
However, in considering OTR Wheel's motion for reconsideration, Judge Suko determined that he committed clear error in vacating summary judgment. His new decision means the case will go to trial.
This reconsideration was not based on new evidence, but on evidence already in the record, Judge Suko said in his March 21 reconsideration order.
OTR Wheel produced sufficient evidence to demonstrate that Superhawk is using OTR Wheel's unique blend of steel and nylon reinforcing materials, as well as its phased method of construction using specific types of rubber, the judge ruled.
The fact that (the) plaintiffs have not produced the actual written instructions is not dispositive of the question of whether (the) plaintiffs have identifiable trade secrets and does not allow the court to rule as a matter of law that plaintiffs do not have identifiable trade secrets, Judge Suko wrote.
Since the trade secrets claim has been reinstated, the judge set deadlines for the continuation of the case.
OTR Wheel originally filed its case against West Worldwide in April 2014, alleging that the firm was selling counterfeit Outrigger tires, using trade secrets that Superhawk had obtained in a previous production agreement with a predecessor company to OTR Wheel.
Judge Suko granted OTR Wheel a preliminary injunction against West Worldwide in May 2014.
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