HOLLAND, Mich. -- Office furniture manufacturer Haworth Inc. has filed suit against SitOnIt Seating, also known as Exemplis Corp., alleging the California-based company's Rio office chair copies the design of its Very Side chair.

The Holland, Michigan furniture giant initiated legal action against SitOnIt on Jan. 6 after written noticed failed to get the company to cease manufacturing Rio. In court filings Haworth says SitOnIt infringed a design patent issued on August 23, 2011 for the Very line.

SitOnIt Seating's Rio chair

"Defendant, without authority or license from plaintiff, has intentionally made, used, offered to sell and sold chairs having product designs that infringe the Patent, in violation of 35 U.S.C. § 271(a). Upon information and belief, defendant intentionally designed the infringing chairs to look like plaintiff’s Very chair. Defendant markets the infringing chairs under the product name 'Rio.'” Haworth

According to Haworth, SitOnIt's Rio chair infringes the Very design in at least 27 ways, including the following features: a single one-piece molded back, two uprights on opposed sides of back, angled notch on rear surface of each upright, its seat proportion, cylindrical legs, cantilevered armrest and more. Read Haworth's court filing here.

Haworth also claims the marketing and sale of the Rio line of chairs has done "irreparable harm" as SitOnIt Seating is a direct competitor and is demanding the company discontinue the line as well as an unspecified amount in damages and court and attorney fees.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.