Louisiana oil-field company files patent infringement lawsuit

Michelle Massey May 12, 2010, 7:00am

A Louisiana oil-field and off-shore services company has filed a lawsuit against several companies that it claims are willfully infringing on its patents relating to a system for conducting welding and other "hot work" in areas adjacent to flammable materials.

Alford Safety Services, Inc. (ASSI) filed suit against Hot-Hed, Inc., Hot-Hed Sales & Service, and Safezone Safety Systems on May 3 in federal court in New Orleans.

ASSI states that it has developed and marketed its own habitat for welding in hazardous conditions, branded HAZTEC and that the defendants are willfully infringing on the HAZTEC by making, using, selling, offering to sell, and/or importing welding habitats use on platforms located in the Gulf of Mexico.

Alford Safety Services accuses the defendants of infringing on U.S. Patent No. 7,091,848 issued on August 15, 2006, U.S. Patent No. 7,193,501 issued on March 20, 2007, U.S. Patent No. 7,518,484 issued on April 14, 2009 for Enclosure system for hot work within the Vicinity of flammable or combustible material and U.S. Patent No. 6,783,054 issued August 31, 2004 issued for Controllably conducting welding operations adjacent flammable materials and method of welding adjacent flammable materials.

The plaintiff states that Hot-Hed was contacted by BP to provide a welding habitat that infringes on one or more of the Alford patents for use on the Thunder Horse facility and on other multiple platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.

Safezone Safety Systems is accused of providing a welding habitat that infringes on one or more claims of the Alford Patents for use on platforms operated by Anadarko Petroleum Corp.

Alford Safety Services is asking the court to permanently enjoin the defendants from continued infringement on its patents, for an award of damages for lost profits and lost royalty, court costs, attorneys' fees and interest.

Attorneys Raymond G. Areaux, Ian C. Barras, and J. Matthew Miller, III of Carver, Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux in New Orleans are representing Alford Safety Services. Jury trial requested.

U.S. District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle is assigned to the litigation.

Case No. 2:10cv01319

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