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Hinckley Company sues to protect Picnic Boat image

Jan 1, 2003

The sleek, stylized lobster yacht that Hinckley produces, the Picnic Boat, replete with stylish tumblehome, sweet overhanging pilothouse and the signature joystick for steering controls, has become a popular sight in recent years. Millionaires around the country apparently can't live without one of these beauties tugging at the mooring of their country house. But Hinckley is not the only company to produce lobster yachts, and Hinckley believes other boat companies are attempting to create Hinckley knock-offs.

Hinckley has cited "flagrant copying" of the yacht's "trade dress" by several manufacturers. The company is sending legal notices to several undisclosed manufacturers to modify their designs. They will do so, or else the company "will take further steps," according to Ralph Willard, president of the Southwest Harbor, Maine-based company.