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Elaut Sues S&B Candy And Toy Co. For Patent Infringement, Unfair Competition

Posted On: 6/28/2016

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TAGS: coin-op news, Elaut NV, Elaut USA Inc., Elaut trademark lawsuit, Elaut patent suit, S&B Entertainment Inc., S&B Candy & Toy Co., St. Louis Game Co., Tommy Bear Co. Ltd., claw vending machine, crane arcade game, Eric Verstraeten, Plucky Duck, Lucky Ducky, Glenn Kramer

LAKEWOOD, NJ -- Belgium's Elaut NV and Elaut USA Inc., its U.S. licensee and distributor based here, filed a trademark lawsuit against S&B Entertainment Inc. of St. Louis, MO, also known as S&B Candy & Toy Co. The suit, filed on June 21 in the United States District Court for New Jersey, also names as defendants St. Louis Game Co., S&B's sales affiliate, and Tommy Bear Co. Ltd., the Taiwanese manufacturer of S&B's arcade games.

The lawsuit alleges that certain arcade game machines manufactured by Tommy Bear and sold by St. Louis Game Co. infringe Elaut's patent that covers a color-changing LED lighting system.

In a second lawsuit filed in the same court, Elaut contends that S&B Candy and Toy Co. competed unfairly after S&B introduced its Lucky Ducky crane machine in violation of Elaut's intellectual property incorporated into its Plucky Ducky crane. The Plucky Ducky trademark has been used on Elaut's machines for more than two years, the plaintiff charged. The litigant added that S&B was notified about its patent prior to Lucky Ducky's November 2014 launch at the IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, FL.

Elaut NV managing director Eric Verstraeten said that his company has invested millions of dollars in research and product development. He added that Elaut has devoted "considerable" resources to protect its inventions by acquiring utility and design patents, and by registering its trademarks in the U.S. and Europe.

Elaut's civil lawsuit is asking the District Court to declare S&B's use of the Lucky Ducky mark to be unfair competition. It also is seeking an injunction on the Luck Ducky name and the amusement devices themselves, as well as monetary damages.

Elaut USA chief executive Glenn Kramer said that the company is surveying the market for other products that might infringe Elaut's intellectual property. "While Elaut has no problem competing in a free market, the playing field must be a level one and our intellectual property rights must be respected," Kramer said.

Click here to see Elaut's official press release regarding its lawsuit.

S&B has denied the allegations in Elaut's complaint. The company said it only produced a small number of Luck Ducky units, and has since introduced a dozen new crane game models. In its response to the lawsuit, the company said: "S&B has full respect for the intellectual property of other manufactures. In 25 years of competition in the amusement industry, S&B has never been involved in an intellectual property lawsuit." Click here to see S&B's official statement.