ORLANDO, Florida — Zamperla SpA and Zamperla Inc. announced on November 13, 2012, that they obtained judgments in U.S. Federal Court in Orange County, Fla., against three amusement ride manufacturers in excess of $138 million 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 Competion under the Lanham Act.
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 further stated, in issuing a Permanent Injunction barring the defendants for continuing their illegal copying of Zamperla products: “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 lease 183 rides of Zamerla’s design.
The defendants are Golden Horse Amusement Equipment Co. Ltd., which was found to have illegally copied at least 83 rides and adjudged liable for $91.2 million, Beijing Tongjunweida Play Equipment Co. Ltd. who copied at least 34 rides is liable for $2.4 million, and Beijing Jiuhua Amusement Rides Manufacturing Co. Ltd. who copied at least 66 rides is liable for $45.2 million. Each of the three companies are based in China.
On Tuesday afternoon, Federal Marshals seized all materials in the IAAPA trade show booths of the defendants and served them with papers requiring them to appear for additional legal proceedings.
Zamperla was represented by amusement industry attorney Tom Sheehan, of the Sheehan Firm PC, working with Orange County Counsel, Ric Keller of Hill, Rugh, Keller & Main, P.L.