Security Chain Co. (SCC) is a division of Burns Bros., an Oregon corporation headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon. SCC designs and markets tire traction products, primarily consisting of snow tire chains for cars and trucks. One of SCC’s most successful product lines has been the “Z” product line, which was first introduced in 1990 and includes a variety of chain products for various automobiles. Burns Bros. has obtained multiple patents to protect its tire chain innovations, including U.S. Patent 5,299,613 ('613), which SCC argues covers features of the “Z” product line. SCC has claimed in its complaint (pdf) that '613 is “generally directed to a ‘split-bushing’ used to couple a cross member to a side member of a tire chain.”
Quality Chain Corp. (QCC) is an Oregon corporation located in Hillsboro that is also in the business of designing and marketing snow tire chains. QCC and SCC have a somewhat contentious history dating back to 2004 when QCC allegedly infringed '613 by offering chains that contained the split-bushing. The two companies resolved that first issue out of court; however, SCC now alleges that QCC recently emailed its customers a brochure that contains an airbrushed version of SCC’s Shur Grip Z as well as disguised versions of other “Z” products.
SCC seeks injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees and costs for the alleged importation and offer for sale of the patented chains. In addition to a patent infringement claim, SCC alleges various trademark-related common law and Lanham Act violations.