April 1, 2019. Buchalter’s client, WhiteWater West Industries, Ltd., the global leader in designing and manufacturing waterparks and attractions, was recently awarded ownership of the three patents held by its competitor, Pacific Surf Designs, Inc. following a bench trial in the Southern District of California. The three patents were directed to new attractions and features in the waterparks industry. Judge Dana M. Sabraw found that “common sense” dictated that Pacific Surf Designs’ co-founder, Richard Alleshouse, had breached his employment contract by assigning the patents to Pacific Surf Designs rather than WhiteWater. Mr. Alleshouse was previously with Wave Loch, a surf ride manufacturing company, which was later acquired by WhiteWater West.
Further, the Court ordered that Pacific Surf Designs’ other co-founder, Yong Yeh, be removed as a co-inventor of the three patents, finding that “Mr. Yeh did not contribute to the conception of the inventions” and that “Mr. Yeh’s alleged patentable contributions were either rejected by the patent office or mirrored pre-existing technology by Wave Loch.”
The result is a clear victory for WhiteWater who will seek an award of attorney’s fees and costs incurred in the successful prosecution of its case. “We are very pleased with the outcome of this case. Rick and the entire Buchalter team were instrumental in securing our victory as the rightful owners of these sheet wave attraction patents,” said Geoff Chutter, CEO of WhiteWater.
Buchalter’s team was led by Shareholders J. Rick Taché, Gary Wolensky, and Kari Barnes, Senior Counsel Roger Scott and Erikson Squier, and Attorney Christina Trinh.