Arctic Cat and its snowmobile division recently scored a huge victory against one of its rivals, though this one had nothing to do with a race track, Tucker Hibbert or the Iron Dog.
Instead, the Federal Court in Canada ruled on February 28 that Arctic Cat did not infringe on patents owned by Bombardier Recreational Products/Ski-Doo when it launched the ProCross and ProClimb chassis and the preceding race models that used a pyramidal subframe.
The BRP-initiated lawsuit – originally filed on December 15, 2011 – alleged 56 instances of patent infringement related to four specific patents. In its decision, however, the Federal Court in Canada found all claims in three of BRP’s four asserted patents invalid by reason of the insufficiency of those patents’ disclosures and their ambiguity. The remaining patent, directed to snowmobile chassis having certain pyramidal frame elements, was found not infringed, according to a press release from Arctic Cat. At issue in the case were approximately 44,000 Arctic Cat snowmobiles covering model years 2007 through 2015, starting with an Arctic Cat race chassis and the related Sno Pro 500, and then with the ProCross/ProClimb platform that was launched broadly for model year 2012.
Michael Okerlund, Arctic Cat’s vice president of legal affairs, stated in the press release, “Arctic Cat has great respect for the legitimate bounds of its competitors’ intellectual property rights. That respect certainly extends to all competitors, including BRP. While we appreciate that reasonable minds may sometimes disagree – and obviously the parties disagreed here – Arctic Cat has long believed that its own innovative snowmobiles steered well clear of the legitimate bounds of BRP’s patents.”
BRP officials have not yet commented on the ruling.