Volume 12, Issue 1 - January/February 2010

AGR Reports
breaking news

LEGAL NEWS
Jury Orders Xinyi to Pay Nearly $11 Million in Damages in Patent Infringement Suit

A jury has ordered Xinyi Glass North America and Xinyi Automobile Glass Co. Ltd. to pay nearly $11 million in damages to Saint-Gobain Autover USA and parent company Saint-Gobain Sekurit for patent infringement. The ruling came as the result of a suit filed by Saint-Gobain alleging that Xinyi infringed on two of its patents, allege that Xinyi Glass North America and Xinyi Automobile Glass Co. Ltd. infringed on two of its patents, one titled “Spacer for Windshield Bracket” (known in court documents as the ‘669 patent) and one titled “Method of Centering Windshield Glazings” (referred to as the ‘395 patent). The ruling came after a jury trial held in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in early November.

The jury awarded $10,944,015 total in compensatory damages—a breakdown of $10,896,558 for lost profits and price erosion damages and $47,457 in royalty damages. They ruled that “Saint-Gobain proved by clear and convincing evidence that Xinyi willfully infringed … the claims of the ‘395 or ‘669 patents.”

Both patents involve windshields equipped with “an extruded profiled spacer,” according to a statement from Saint-Gobain Autover.

Witnesses in the case included industry expert Bob Beranek, Saint-Gobain Autover representative Dennis Warlick, and several Xinyi representatives.

The original complaint was filed more than three years ago.


COMPANY NEWS

Novus, SuperGlass and Glass Doctor Rank High on Franchise 500® List
Novus Glass, SuperGlass and Glass Doctor all received high rankings on the recently released 2010 Franchise 500 list, published annually by Entrepreneur® magazine.

Savage, Minn.-based Novus Glass ranked at No. 89 on the list, up from No. 83 in 2009. Novus also ranked at No. 68 on the list of fastest-growing franchise, No. 24 on the low-cost franchise list, No. 24 on the home-based franchise list and No. 73 on the list of America’s top global franchises.

Orlando, Fla.-based Superglass Windshield Repair was ranked No. 191—up nearly 100 spots from No. 289 in 2009.

In addition to its ranking on the main list, SuperGlass ranked No. 47 on the low-cost franchise list, No. 55 on the list of top home-based franchises, and No. 149 on the list of America’s Top Global Franchises.

Waco, Texas-based Glass Doctor rose 37 spots to No. 240 on the list, up from No. 277 in 2009. In addition, the company ranked No. 75 on the list of top home-based franchises and No. 179 on the list of America’s top global franchises.

The Franchise 500 list is created based on a number of factors, including financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the company’s franchising system, according to Entrepreneur. Rankings also take into account a number of other items.


AGRSS NEWS
AGRSS Registration Helps Montana Glass Shop in Recent Case, Shop Owner Reports
When Jeff Tribble, owner of J&D Auto Glass in Missoula, Mont., received a call for a windshield replacement on a 1971 Mercedes, he knew his technician had a bit of a drive ahead of him, as the job was about 90 miles away from the company’s headquarters. But he likely didn’t expect what happened next.

“Once he cut the windshield out, he saw that there was a bunch of bathtub caulking, rust and leftover bond from whoever put it in before, which we later found out was a bodyshop,” says Tribble.

“He explained to the customer that it needed to go back to the bodyshop,” Tribble told AGRR magazine/glassBYTEs.com™.

The technician left the vehicle there, sans windshield, and moved on—but this wasn’t the last time he encountered the vehicle.

“We got a call from the gentleman who was paying for [the installation], and he said we didn’t know what we were doing, and told us he was taking us to court,” recalls Tribble. The customer sued the company for removing the windshield and not replacing it.

The technician arrived in court with the removed windshield in-hand—and some of the bathtub caulking he’d saved when he stripped it off of the Mercedes.

That part of the case lasted about 10 minutes, Tribble says, when the judge saw what the technician showed him.

“We explained to the judge that we’re AGRSS-registered and that we can’t install windshields under certain conditions,” Tribble says. He says they also explained that the AGRSS Standard offers documentation that the installation would have been unsafe, and the judge removed the charges against the shop.
 

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