3BR Powersports, a motorcycle electronics manufacturer based in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., has issued cease and desist orders for several patent violations of its phone- and GPS-charging solutions. The company is owned by Don Blackwell and his son, Kurt.
3BR’s TAPP (Tiny Accessory Power Port) and TAPPLite USB charging ports offer waterproof capability, flexible mounting options and clean power for motorcycle riders.
Non-genuine versions of the systems, which are patented under No. 8079560 and No. 7914306, respectively, are now being sold in the U.S. via the Internet and possibly other distribution channels. These unauthorized versions do not meet the fit and quality specifications developed by 3BR, and some dealers have been unknowingly recruited to carry these counterfeit versions.
“We are glad that dealers and consumers are learning that we have a great phone and GPS charging solution for motorcycles, and realize that until now, some dealers did not know that 3BR Powersports is the exclusive owner of this design," said a company spokesperson. "We are sure that dealers will respect that we spent a lot of time and money to develop this one-of-a-kind USB charging system for motorcycles, and we have patent protection on these products. We are mounting a rigorous defense of these patents to stop the infringers. Our end goal is to ensure that customers and dealers alike will receive the quality and performance of the 3BR System for charging their electronics, and that the sales transactions will be conducted ethically with 3BR here in the United States.”
The Blackwells have discovered infringing versions of their products on the market under brand names originating in China. As their search continues, more brand names may be uncovered. China remains on the Priority Watch List maintained by the U.S. Trade Representative. 3BR has appealed directly to the Asian manufacturers and distributors to try and stop the infringing designs.
“We have contacted more than 30 dealers who carry the infringing products, which are easily identified," said the company. "The marketing materials and photos are copied word-for-word from our manuals and website, and one website was using unauthorized photographs from a favorable review of the TAPP on Webbikeworld.com. Dealers and consumers need to be aware that the infringing products often do not meet our quality or fit standards. In some cases, the infringing traders are even using our brand name and logo, which is a violation of our trademarks. This is not an innocent mistake; they are reaping the profits from our engineering and marketing work.”
Dealers carrying the infringing products are advised to stop selling the products and contact 3BR Powersports immediately to resolve the problem. A form letter drafted for 3BR by their law firm is being sent to dealers and distributors, which displays photographs and simple verbiage on how to identify specific products that are in violation. Full text of the patents can also be viewed at uspto.gov.