Hillenbrand (Batesville) Going After Mexican Knockoff Casket Maker

June 14, 2010
Advertisement

imageHillenbrand Inc.?s Batesville unit, the largest U.S. maker of coffins, filed a U.S. trade complaint to stop imports of what it deems are knockoff caskets from Mexico.

The complaint, filed yesterday with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington, said Ataudes Aguilares of Guadalajara, Mexico, is bringing caskets into the U.S. that infringe patents related to coffins with attached memorabilia compartments and a mechanism allowing funeral-home directors to swap out ornamental corner pieces.

Batesville said it has four manufacturing plants in the U.S. with about 3,300 workers. Sales of the patented caskets are expected to exceed $130 million this year, according to the complaint. Total sales were $577.1 million last year, or 89 percent of Hillenbrand?s revenue, Bloomberg data show.

The unit wants the trade commission to prevent closely held Ataudes Aguilares from selling its products in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Advertisement

?Ataudes Aguilares did not develop these caskets on its own,? Batesville said in the complaint. ?Instead, in order to compete against Batesville in selling improved caskets, Ataudes Aguilares entered into contracts to import for sale in the United States caskets manufactured by Ataudes Aguilares, but copied from Batesville patent protected caskets.?

The memorabilia compartment is a drawer in which family members put mementos rather than in a box placed haphazardly in the coffin, Batesville said. In September, the unit sued funeral homes in Puerto Rico that received the Ataudes Aguilares caskets. Part of the case was dismissed last month, according to court documents.

The trade commission is a quasi-independent agency that investigates unfair trade practices, including patent infringement, and has the power to prevent products from entering the U.S. It typically completes its investigations within about 15 months of agreeing to consider a complaint.

The case is In the Matter of Certain Caskets, Complaint No. 2738, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

Source: BusinessWeek.com

CDFuneralNews

CDFuneralNews

ConnectingDirectors.com is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With ConnectingDirectors.com we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.
CDFuneralNews
Advertisement

You may be interested

UPDATE ON HUGE FUNERAL INDUSTRY CIVIL LAWSUIT | FUNERAL nation 101 – CHANGE MAKERS
FUNERAL Nation
32 views
FUNERAL Nation
32 views

UPDATE ON HUGE FUNERAL INDUSTRY CIVIL LAWSUIT | FUNERAL nation 101 – CHANGE MAKERS

CDFuneralNews - January 21, 2018

On this episode, we talk with a death care attorney who is handling a high profile civil lawsuit affecting thousands…

OGR Annual Conference Offers Solutions to Business Problems in Savannah, GA April 4-6, 2018
Funeral Industry Press Releases
25 views
Funeral Industry Press Releases
25 views

OGR Annual Conference Offers Solutions to Business Problems in Savannah, GA April 4-6, 2018

CDFuneralNews - January 21, 2018

AUSTIN, TX – JANUARY 2018 - The International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), the world’s leading professional association dedicated…

Funeral Cribs Episode 5 – Sunset Memorial Park, Alabama
News
410 views
News
410 views

Funeral Cribs Episode 5 – Sunset Memorial Park, Alabama

CDFuneralNews - January 18, 2018

The Sunset Memorial Park Funeral Home has had one major goal in mind from the time it started until now,…

Comments