Last week, the North Carolina judge presiding over swimming pool equipment manufacturer Hayward Industries’ false advertising win against Blueworks Corp and its Chinese counterpart Ningbo C.F. agreed to lift a stay, greenlighting Hayward’s efforts to collect its $16 million award. Crediting Hayward’s concerns that Blueworks and Ningbo would be able to move or hide assets in China, the Court originally stayed collection of the judgement, but issued a temporary restraining order freezing the defendants’ assets. Last week, the Court lifted the stay, stating that the rationale for granting TRO applied equally to lifting the collection stay.

Earlier this year, a jury found Blueworks and Ningbo liable for false advertising, but cleared them of Hayward’s trademark infringement claims (more info here).  The jury awarded $4.9 million in damages, which was trebled under North Carolina’s Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, to $14.7 million before the Court added $1.3 million in prejudgment interest. 

The parties are currently in the midst of post-trial briefs, including motions by defendants for judgment as a matter of law and a new trial and a motion from Hayward for $4 million in attorneys fees.