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Lincoln Electric Sues Distributors for Patent and Trademark Infringement

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2009-01-11 04:44:58     
Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc.

The Lincoln Electric Co. and Lincoln Global, Inc., two subsidiaries of Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: LECO), have filed a lawsuit against Lisco, Inc., a Los Angeles-based company doing business as Rhino Welders and Phoenix Welding Supply Co., for patent, trademark, copyright and trade dress infringement and unfair competition. The lawsuit was filed today in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

Rhino Welders recently imported and started selling a family of Chinese- manufactured MIG welders through its distributor, Phoenix Welding Supply. The machines are blatant copies of Lincoln's highly successful POWER MIG(R) line of welders and infringe a wide array of Lincoln's intellectual property rights.

In commenting on the legal action taken by Lincoln, George Blankenship, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lincoln Global, said, "Lincoln invests significant financial resources in the development of its world-leading technology, including the intellectual property rights to protect that technology. Our Company takes its intellectual property rights very seriously and is committed to pursuing whatever action necessary against any domestic or international entity, to protect those rights."

In the complaint, Lincoln charges Rhino Welders and Phoenix Welding Supply with infringing Lincoln's patents, Lincoln's federally-registered trademarks, Lincoln's copyrighted materials, and Lincoln's distinctive POWER MIG(R) trade dress, as well as engaging in unfair business practices. The Company is seeking an injunction against Rhino Welders and Phoenix Welding Supply, and compensation for damages that have occurred as a result of their past and on-going infringement.

Lincoln Electric and Lincoln Global are wholly owned subsidiaries of Lincoln Electric Holdings Inc. Lincoln Electric is the world leader in the design, development and manufacture of arc welding products, robotic arc-welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment and has a leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloys market. Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Lincoln has 38 manufacturing locations, including operations, manufacturing alliances and joint ventures in 20 countries and a worldwide network of distributors and sales offices covering more than 160 countries. For more information about Lincoln Electric, its products and services, visit the Company's Web site at http://www.lincolnelectric.com.

The Company's expectations and beliefs concerning the future contained in this news release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements reflect management's current expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from such statements due to a variety of factors that could adversely affect the Company's operating results. The factors include, but are not limited to: general economic and market conditions; the effectiveness of operating initiatives; currency exchange and interest rates; adverse outcome of pending or potential litigation; possible acquisitions; market risks and price fluctuations related to the purchase of commodities and energy; global regulatory complexity; and the possible effects of international terrorism and hostilities on the Company or its customers, suppliers and the economy in general. For additional discussion, see "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K.

Specialized in: Lincoln Electric - Welder - Stick Welding - Tig Welding - Mig Welding - Flux Core Welding - Subarc Welding - Plasma Cutting - Aluminum Welding - Stainless Welding - Pipe Welding - Hardfacing - Hardsurfacing - Plasma Cutter - Automation - Robot - Fume Extraction - Inverter
URL: http://www.lincolnelectric.com
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