Who knew that Tigershark still had teeth?
So can I get a hell-yeah!? How about a Montego, Barricuda, Daytona and Monte Carlo!?
Today’s celebration comes on the heels of a Florida jury siding with Arctic Cat that BRP (Sea-Doo) willfully infringed two Arctic Cat patents and awarding damages of approximately $15.5 million. The verdict was handed down in a patent-infringement suit filed by Arctic Cat against Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. and BRP U.S. Inc. alleging that the makers of the Sea-Doo jet propulsion personal watercraft (PWC) committed willful infringement.
Filed in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the complaint alleged that the companies marketed, promoted, offered for sale, sold and distributed Sea-Doo personal watercraft that infringe patents owned by Arctic Cat.
The jury unanimously sided with Arctic Cat, finding that BRP infringed all claims in question on two of the company’s patents. The verdict was issued June 1, 2016.
“We are incredibly pleased that the facts of this case were clear to the jury and that Arctic Cat today protected the IP it owns,” said Nicholas Boebel of Hagens Berman, lead counsel for Arctic Cat. “Arctic Cat worked hard to develop and protect its intellectual property and today its fight for the rights of its original and novel inventions has paid off.”
The suit concerned a long-standing safety concern in the PWC industry: the inability to steer a PWC once the throttle is released, as is common in emergency situations, particularly for inexperienced riders.
According to the complaint, Arctic Cat was responsible for originally developing a unique and effective off-throttle thrust mechanism to make personal watercraft safer. The technology provided riders with temporary “steerable thrust” when the rider turns in off-throttle situations, which could help prevent fatalities and injuries from collisions. Arctic Cat representatives demonstrated the technology to the Coast Guard, representatives of BRP and others in the PWC industry in 1999 and 2000.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded Arctic Cat patents for its novel off-throttle steering technology, entitled “Controlled Thrust Steering System for Watercraft.”
While it’s satisfying to see this verdict and $15.5 million dollar judgment, I shudder to think of the millions of dollars wasted in goofball lawsuits between companies who seem more intent on tying up corporate resources than they do defending their intellectual property. I pine for the good ol’ days, when companies just kicked butt trying to develop cool stuff rather than shoveling millions into the legal system furnace.
As is cliche for such matters, the only people getting rich are the lawyers.
Nevertheless, I’m glad to know that the Tigershark era might actually have made some money for Arctic Cat, albeit 15 years or so after it exited the PWC business.
These ladies are looking to celebrate with their Arctic Cat WetBikes.