published Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Patent case dismissed against Chattanooga tow truck manufacturer

John Woods at the Miller Industries manufacturing facility in Ooltewah makes a weld on a boom being installed on a large wrecker that will be sent to Africa.
John Woods at the Miller Industries manufacturing facility in Ooltewah makes a weld on a boom being installed on a large wrecker that will be sent to Africa.
Photo by John Rawlston.

A federal patent case against Chattanooga tow truck manufacturer Miller Industries ended Monday after plaintiff Jerr-Dan Corp. agreed to dismiss the case.

Towing competitor Jerr-Dan filed the suit against Miller Industries in January, and claimed that Miller Industries violated a patent Jerr-Dan held on an auto-leveling device. The device allows tow truck drivers to automatically locate a tow bar at a predetermined height.

"Shortly after the case was filed, Miller Industries provided evidence to Jerr-Dan of prior technology that cast a substantial doubt on the validity of Jerr-Dan's patent," Miller Industries said in a news release. Company officials declined to comment beyond the release.

"More than one year prior to the filing of the original application which matured into the '561 Patent, the alleged invention was described in printed publications in this country and or was in public use and on sale in this country," reads Miller Industries' answer to the complaint.

The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.

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