TriMas Corp. today (July 19) announced that subsidiary Cequent Performance Products reached an agreement with Pacific Rim International LLC and Curt Manufacturing LLC that protects Cequent’s intellectual property rights for its Bulldog brand collar lock coupler design.

According to a news release, Cequent owns the patent that protects its Bulldog collar lock coupler, which is the leading design in the medium-weight industrial and livestock trailer markets. Cequent’s patented Bulldog coupler includes a proprietary hollow, circular cross-section that provides substantial weight savings and improved function in securing a “bumper pull” trailer to the hitch ball on a truck.

Cequent discovered that Pacific Rim and Curt sold couplers nearly identical to the patented technology in Cequent’s Bulldog couplers, and filed a patent infringement suit against them. In response, Pacific Rim and Curt agreed to settle the dispute with Cequent.

As part of the settlement, Pacific Rim agreed to pay Cequent an undisclosed sum and sell off its remaining, minimal inventory by Aug. 31. Pacific Rim and Curt further agreed to stop manufacturing or selling any further couplers having Cequent’s proprietary hollow, circular cross-section as of August 31.

The court agreed to retain jurisdiction over the terms of the settlement.