Weiland Files Patent Suit Against Panda

May 10, 2010
Companies

Weiland Sliding Doors & Windows Inc., based in Oceanside, Calif., filed suit in April against Panda Windows & Doors charging that Panda has copied its patented flush track product design for its multipanel sliding door systems.  In response, Panda has accused Weiland of a "bad faith assertion of infringement" and has threatend legal action against Weiland.

The complaint filed by Weiland states that the Las Vegas based Panda infringes on two Weiland patents for its flush sliding door drainage track systems. According to Weiland, its patented drainage track was the first such track to allow sliding doors with a flush track to be tested and meet AAMA air and water performance ratings. As a result, its lift/slide door system has also been tested and complies with stringent Florida Building Codes (including approvals from Miami-Dade County) for hurricane and impact standards, Weiland reports.

The product at the center of the new California lawsuit has been on the market at least since 2005, Panda officials respond.  The company reports it was contacted by Weiland more than two years ago about the patents that are the subject of the suit. At that time, Panda officials explain, the company advised Weiland that it was not aware of any Panda product covered by a Weiland patent and asked Weiland to notify Panda within a specified time frame if it had a different view.  Weiland never responded to that letter, indicating it agreed with Panda on this issue, according to Panda executives.

They charge that Weiland has brought suit now to try to interfere with Panda’s business relationships, and to try and win business from Panda’s customers.  Panda's attorneys have sent a letter to Weiland saying that if it does not drop the lawsuit, Panda will have no alternative but to file suit against Weiland for itts conduct.

In its complaint, Weiland is seeking monetary damages to be set by the court, and a tripling of those damages because of the willful nature of the infringement by Panda, the company reports. Weiland is also seeking a permanent injunction barring the manufacture and sale of Panda's products which utilize the infringing flush drainage track and the canceling of any purchase orders for infringing products.