Amphibious boating business Sealegs International has been rebuffed on its attempt to take further court action against other people and businesses in the sector.
The Supreme Court this month rejected an application for a hearing over a copyright issue from Sealegs, which manufactures amphibious systems for installation on powerboats, with wheels on supporting mechanical legs that enable the powerboat to be driven from the beach into the water where the legs can be retracted.
Sealegs wanted to take action against Yun Zhang, Orion and Orion Marine, Smuggler Marine, Darren Leybourne, Vladan Zubcic, David Pringle and Stryda Marine.
Orion Marine executive Darren Leybourne said today the result allowed the four companies involved in the court action to pursue claims for damages and costs of about $11 million against Sealegs.
In a previous court action, Sealegs claimed that the amphibious system developed by Orion infringed its copyright.
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Sealegs won the first case in the High Court.
Last year, the Herald reported how Sealegs founder Maurice Bryham felt vindicated that the High Court found that former employees had breached copyright over the design and manufacture of amphibious kits for boats he developed.
The High Court granted Sealegs a permanent injunction against the defendants - Orion Marine, Darren Leybourne, Smuggler Marine Limited, Yun Zhang and David Pringle - and determined that costs and damages were also due.
But this year, the Court of Appeal overturned that decision. It released the injunction that Sealegs had previously won against Orion Marine that stopped Orion from making amphibious boats.
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The appeal court said Orion's amphibious technology was different to anything else.
So on December 5, Sealegs sought leave to appeal that in the Supreme Court but the December 13 decision roundly rejected any further action.
"It claims there are errors of principle in the Court of Appeal decision which warrant the application for leave to appeal being granted. In particular, Sealegs submits that the Court of Appeal did not apply the law as set out in the Oraka Technologies Ltd v Geostel Vision Ltd and Steelbro NZ Ltd v Tidd Ross Todd Ltd cases," the decision said.
After considering the written and oral submissions from the parties, the court accepted the respondents' submission that the Court of Appeal made no error of principle.
Not only was Sealeg's application for leave to appeal dismissed but it has to pay costs of $4500 to the respondents in the case.