Brunswick, Zodiac agree to suit dismissal

Fond du Lac, WI - A lawsuit filed by Zodiac and its affiliated companies against Brunswick Corporation will be dismissed, according to an agreement reached last week by the two companies.

Last summer, Zodiac of North America Inc., Zodiac International and its AVON Inflatables Ltd. Subsidiary filed a lawsuit against Brunswick Corporation that alleged Brunswick's Amanzi 380 Deluxe rigid-hull inflatable boat (RIB) infringed on a Zodiac patent and AVON's trade dress. The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, was filed not long after Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation, introduced the Amanzi model.

Zodiac and Brunswick have agreed that the current version of the Amanzi boat is appropriate for sale by Brunswick. Under this agreement, Zodiac agreed not to sue Brunswick and its dealers and will dismiss the current lawsuit.

"We are pleased this issue is now behind us and we can return our focus to the service of our dealers and end customers," said Pat Mackey, president of Mercury Marine.

Zodiac President and Chief Executive Officer J. J. Marie said he, too, was happy to have the issue resolved.

"We are satisfied that the current version of the boat in question has been substantially modified, to the point where we are able to reach a resolution with Brunswick on this patent and trade dress infringement issue," said Marie, adding that Zodiac will continue to vigorously defend its intellectual property rights across the globe.

About Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick

Headquartered in Lake Forest, IL, Brunswick Corporation endeavors to instill "Genuine Ingenuity" in all its leading consumer brands, including Mercury and Mariner outboard engines; Mercury MerCruiser sterndrives and inboard engines; Teignbridge propellers; MotoTron electronic controls; Northstar marine electronics; Navman GPS-based products; IDS dealer management systems; Sea Ray, Bayliner, Maxum, Hatteras, Meridian and Sealine pleasure boats; Baja high-performance boats; Boston Whaler and Trophy offshore fishing boats; Princecraft fishing, deck and pontoon boats; Attwood marine parts and accessories; Land 'N' Sea marine parts and accessories distributor; Life Fitness, Hammer Strength and ParaBody fitness equipment; Brunswick bowling centers, equipment and consumer products; Brunswick billiards tables; and Valley-Dynamo pool, air hockey and foosball tables.

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About Zodiac Of North America, Inc.

Zodiac of North America, Inc. is a subsidiary of Zodiac S.A., the world's largest manufacturer of RIBs, inflatable boats, life rafts and marine safety equipment, and the world's oldest manufacturer of inflatable boats. The company manufactures and distributes RIBs and foam collar crafts (both fiberglass and aluminum hulls), inflatable boats, life rafts and safety equipment. Zodiac brands include Zodiac, AVON and Bombard. Zodiac's manufacturing facilities are located in South Carolina, Washington, Vancouver, British Columbia, and several other countries around the world. Zodiac originated several major concepts that evolved the inflatable boat, including the inflatable keel, Futura hull, H2P high-pressure air floor and the Acti-V hull. Zodiac of North America, Inc. corporate headquarters are located at 540 Thompson Creek Road, Stevensville, MD 21666; Phone: 410- 643-4141; Fax: 410-643-4491; Internet: and

About AVON Marine

AVON Marine, a subsidiary of Zodiac S.A., produces a wide range of top- quality RIBs, inflatable boats, and life rafts, including Dinghies, Rovers, Roll- Aways, Seasport De Luxes and Jet RIBs, Adventures, Life Rafts, Riverboats and Workboats. Designed for durability and long-term value and renowned for their hand-built quality, all AVON inflatables conform to many of the world's top quality control standards. All AVON inflatables come with a written 10- year guarantee. AVON Marine U.S. headquarters are also located at 540 Thompson Creek Road, Stevensville, MD 21666; Phone:410-604-3616; Fax: 410-643-4491; Internet: