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Yellowfin Lawsuit Denied by Judge

March 9, 2017
A federal judge in Tampa has dismissed a lawsuit that Bradenton boat maker Yellowfin Yachts filed against rival Barker Boatworks. The lawsuit, filed in April 2015, alleged that Barker violated Yellowfin’s “trade dress” rights by making boats that are very similar in design to the vessels Yellowfin had produced since 1998. Yellowfin also accused owner Kevin Barker of stealing trade secrets from the company where he worked for four years before launching his own company. Barker, a former Yellowfin vice president, founded Barker Boatworks in 2014. After nearly two years of litigation, Barker was ecstatic when he heard the news. “It caused more excitement around here than I ever thought we would have had,” Barker said. “Just knowing that it was over, and that we were in the right, and that we didn’t do anything wrong. That was the most important thing.” While he was insured against lawsuits, Barker said attorney’s fees topped $250,000. And it was the timing of the suit that hurt the most. Read the rest of the story in the Herald-Tribune here: