Home Depot Copied Tree Stand, Jury Rules

From Associated Press

A federal jury in Sacramento has awarded nearly $13.6 million to a small company that makes Christmas tree stands after deciding that Home Depot Inc. illegally copied the firm’s product and then sold the knockoff in its place.

The verdict, which was handed down Tuesday, is a huge victory for Jim Boucher and his Turlock, Calif.-based company, Decorations for Generations.

During the eight-day trial, Boucher’s attorneys presented the jury with evidence showing that Home Depot gave one of the patented stands to a firm in China to duplicate at a lower cost.

In 1999, the Atlanta-based company reduced its purchases of Boucher’s stands and began selling the Chinese ones under the same price card and stock number, Boucher’s attorneys said.