Solar Sun Rings Settles Suit

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Just days before the trial was to begin, Solar Sun Rings, a Temecula, Calif.-based manufacturer of inflatable solar pool heating rings has settled with retail giant Wal-Mart out of court on December 4, 2012. 

As has been reported in AQUA, in 2011 Solar Sun Rings filed a lawsuit against Wal-Mart alleging the national retail chain, in developing and selling Wal-Mart’s Solar Pad, had infringed on its Solar Sun Rings' patents.

According to the plaintiff, Solar Sun Rings’ president and CEO Lora Rosene, Wal-Mart had asked Solar Sun Rings to partner in a combined product — together they would manufacture a small, inexpensive above ground pool with Solar Sun Rings included in the package to provide solar heat for the pool. 

That deal ultimately fell through, but the following year, Wal-Mart test-marketed a copy of the patent-protected Solar Sun Ring, Rosene says. 

Eventually, Wal-Mart began stocking their version of the Solar Sun Ring, called the Solar Pad, and the manufacturer sued.

Wal-Mart countered the initial suit by asking the U.S. District Court to throw out the case, but that motion was denied in October, 2012, and the case was about to proceed to trial when the settlement was reached.

According to media reports, WalMart will discontinue selling the Solar Pad. Other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

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