Reflective Apparel Factory, Inc. (“Reflective”), a Georgia corporation headquartered in Marietta, seeks a declaratory judgment against Carolina Safety Acquisition, LLC (“Carolina”), a Delaware limited liability company operating out of North Carolina, that Reflective does not infringe U.S. Patent No. 7,735,151 (the ‘151 Patent).

The complaint was filed after Reflective received a letter dated April 25, 2014, that accused at least three Reflective products of infringing the ‘151 Patent.  Figure 1 from the ‘151 Patent showing a vest detachable at the sides and shoulders is shown below:

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According to the complaint, Reflective is in the business of supplying “high-visibility garments to various industries in order to enhance” employee safety.  An image of one of the accused products – the VEA-552 Public Safety Vest is pictured below:

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Reflective alleges that Carolina has engaged in a series of assertions of patent infringement against industry participants since the ‘171 Patent issued on June 15, 2010.  The complaint alleges that patent suits relating to the ‘171 Patent have been brought and dismissed with no known payments to Carolina involving industry participants M.L. Kishigo Manufacturing Company, Fechheimer Brothers Company, and W. W. Grainger, Inc.

Reflective alleges that in each instance that Carolina sent a cease and desist letter (including the one to Reflective), it knew or should have known that the accused products did not actually infringe any claim of the ‘151 Patent.

The case is Reflective Apparel Factory, Inc. v. Carolina Safety Acquisition, LLC, No. 1:14-cv-01376-TCB, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, on May 7, 2014, and assigned to U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten, Sr.