Lippert and AL-KO Wrangling over Patent and Personnel

A legal dispute between two Elkhart, Indiana-based recreational vehicle (RV) suppliers is ramping up after U. S. District Judge Jon DeGuilio ruled AL-KO’s non-compete agreement is too broad. In moving from AL-KO to Lippert Components, inc., Larry Revelino had already agreed with both companies not to give away his former employer’s trade secrets, but AL-KO sued to prevent him from hiring on with Lippert. The judge ordered him not to recruit any of his former employer’s workers, customers or suppliers, but ruled AL-KO cannot prevent Revelino from working at Lippert. Two others including Revelino, who were all working on an in-wall slide system, have left AL-KO for Lippert since June 2013. In July Lippert filed a patent infringement claim alleging AL-KO’s wall system violates three patents; AL-KO says the patents are not valid. Vice president of tactical projects at AL-KO, Revelino’s new job at Lippert is director of international business relations. While the case continues in court, reports Judge DeGuilio wrote: “AL-KO has provided no evidence that Mr. Revelino has actually disclosed any trade secrets at this time, however. As to threatened disclosures, Mr. Revelino has acknowledged that he is prohibited from disclosing any confidential and/or proprietary information, and defense counsel has represented that Mr. Revelino has signed an agreement with Lippert preventing him from disclosing any of AL-KO’s confidential information.” As MHProNews knows, Lippert, along with its sister company, Kinro Inc. are subsidiaries of Drew Industries (NYSE:DW), and provide the manufactured housing industry with components.

(Image credit: CNNMoney)

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