Law and Manufacturing

Belwith Products settles with La-Z-Boy subsidiaries

July 2, 2013
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Belwith Products settles suit against La-Z-Boy
Monroe-based manufacturer La-Z-Boy sells furniture through more than 3,000 retailers, including more than 300 La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries. Photo via commons.wikimedia.org

Grandville-based Belwith Products, a manufacturer of decorative hardware, has reached a legal settlement with three La-Z-Boy subsidiaries, according to Belwith.

The settlement terms were not disclosed.

Belwith did not return calls from the Business Journal, and Monroe-based La-Z-Boy said it does not have a comment on the case.

Belwith, founded in 1893, makes furniture, cabinet and door hardware through its Keeler and Hickory Hardware divisions.

Belwith's complaint accused the La-Z-Boy subsidiaries — Hammary Furniture Co., American Drew and Kincaid Furniture Co. — of a number of violations of Belwith’s intellectual property rights under federal statutes, including infringement upon Belwith’s patents and copyrights, according to a Belwith announcement.

The La-Z-Boy subsidiaries purchased, directly or indirectly, from third-party sources, certain hardware, some of which were discovered at a later date to infringe one or more Belwith/Keeler patents or copyrights, Belwith said.

Belwith reiterated the importance of its patents and copyrights.

"Belwith owns and continues to develop substantial intellectual property rights in all of its existing products offerings, as well as in its new products," the announcement states. "These rights have been created and protected at great expense to Belwith and its predecessors in interest. Belwith considers its intellectual property to be a significant corporate asset, and Belwith wants to ensure that others respect its intellectual property rights. Belwith intends to protect its intellectual property to the full extent permitted by law and continues to monitor the marketplace in pursuance of that protection."

Belwith filed the lawsuit in October 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in Grand Rapids.

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