Lawsuit filed over knockoff caskets

July 21, 2008 at 9:11 PM

HOUSTON, July 21 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania casket maker has filed a lawsuit to prevent some Texas stores from selling cheap Chinese knockoffs of its funerary boxes.

The York Group filed its lawsuit in state court in Houston, alleging that a Chinese company has violated a court order not to distribute "knockoffs" and "look-alikes" of its products in the United States, the Houston Chronicle reported Monday.

The Chinese manufacturer, Wuxi Taihu Tractor Co., has denied it sells copies of York's products, the newspaper reported.

In 2006, a judge ordered Wuxi Taihu not distribute the copycat caskets and to place the words "Made in China" on coffins it builds there.

Although the lawsuit does not seek a specified dollar amount, it does seek actual damages arising from the alleged violation of the permanent injunction.

"This is part of a continuous, ongoing battle that all U.S. manufacturers have," said Michael Scott, a Houston-based attorney for York.

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