Ruud Lighting wins settlement against Elcast in copyright suit

Jan. 14, 2010
Luminaire maker Ruud Lighting has successfuly prevented a competitor from using its copyrighted marketing materials related to BetaLED products and installations.
BetaLED lighting at the Mall of America Back in March, Ruud Lighting brought suit against Elcast Lighting for distributing sales brochures that included large portions of copyrighted works. The focus of the suit was Ruud's BetaLED division that makes specification-grade luminaires for exterior lighting.

In the just-announced settlement, Elcast agreed to pay undisclosed damages to Rudd and to adopt compliant business practices going forward.

Ruud Lighting president Christopher Ruud said, "This is an example of a company trying to jump on the bandwagon by stealing marketing materials and falsely attributing those claims to products that don’t even have the same features."

According to the suit, Elcast had distributed promotional sales brochures containing large portions of BetaLED copyrighted works, even including copying a registered brand (THE EDGE®) to customers and representatives.
The Edge exterior luminaire

Christopher Ruud said that copyright and patent infringement needs to be enforced "not only to protect our own assets, but to protect buyers from receiving misleading messages by companies vying to get into the LED luminaire business. It’s essential to safeguard consumers against false claims, so that informed buying decisions can be made."

In the settlement, Elcast agreed to comply with a permanent injunction prohibiting the use of marketing materials that infringe on Ruud's work.

As for Ruud and BetaLED, the company appears intent on helping customers fairly evaluate LED-based luminaires. Company president Ruud said, "BetaLED is doing its part to protect buyers and show how to properly evaluate LED products." But actions speak louder than words. BetaLED has an excellent primer on LED luminaire evaluation on its web site.