Thursday, November 15, 2012

Scott And Carol Present - Thursday At IAAPA

Tom Sheehan, of the Sheehan Firm PC, has been busy in Orlando. He received the Outstanding Service Award from his peers for his work on various safety and ride standards committees. Entering the industry as a ride mechanic, Tom completed law school and is the only attorney in the United States who holds both the Level 1 and Level 2 NAARSO Amusement Ride Inspector’s Certificates. In addition, he is a licensed aircraft mechanic with full air frame and power plant certification. As was stated during the presentation, “That is pretty cool.” Congratulations to Tom, and thanks for all your contributions during the last 25 years.

Zamperla Inc., manufacturers and distributors of quality amusement rides announced on November 13, 2012, that they obtained judgments in Federal Court in Orange County Florida against three amusement ride manufacturers in excess of 138 Million US Dollars. The verdicts were based on violations of Florida’s Unfair Competition Law, the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, Common Law Trademark Infringement and Unfair Competition under the Lanham Act. Zamperla was represented by amusement industry attorney Tom Sheehan, who was working with Orange County Counsel, Ric Keller of Hill, Rugh, Keller & Main, P.L.

On Tuesday afternoon Federal Marshals seized all materials in the trade show booths of the defendants and served them with papers requiring them to appear for additional court appearances. In his ruling favoring Zamperla, Federal Court Judge Roy B. Dalton found that the defendant’s actions in copying Zamperla ‘s products to be “deliberate, willful and intentional.” The court went further stating, “The public interest is served in this case because an injunction will ensure imitation amusement rides, which may not meet the safety standards of the Zamperla Plaintiffs’ rides, are not passed off as, or confused with the amusement rides manufactured and sold by the Zamperla Plaintiffs.”
The final judgment further provided for triple damages, as allowed under the Lanham Act. In achieving the verdicts Zamperla demonstrated that the defendants had copied at least 183 rides of Zamerla’s design. The defendants are Golden Horse Amusement Equipment Co. Ltd. who was found to have illegally copied at least 83 rides and adjudged liable for $91,219,767.00, Beijing Tongjunweida Play Equipment Co. Ltd. who copied at least 34 rides is liable for $2,410,650.00 and Beijing Jiuhua Amusement Rides Manufacturing Co. Ltd. who copied at least 66 rides is liable for $45,237,378.00. Each of the three companies are based in China.
IAAPA (the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions), is presently holding its annual trade show in Orlando Florida. With over 1,100 vendor and attendance expected to exceed 30,000, the trade show is the largest of its type in the world, and it runs through Friday, 11/16/2012