Seirus And Columbia In Court. Who Wins, Who Knows?
According to Serius A San Diego jury returned a verdict finding Columbia’s patent covering its Omni-Heat technology invalid. The jury also refused to find that Seirus’ HeatWave technology infringed Columbia’s patent.
Columbia sued Seirus alleging Seirus’ HeatWave product line infringed a Columbia design patent in 2013. Columbia added two utility patents relating to its Omni-Heat technology in 2014, U.S. Patent Nos. 8,424,119 and 8,453,270. Columbia dropped all allegations against Seirus relating to the ‘119 patent on the eve of the trial. At issue were two claims of Columbia’s ‘270 patent and the issue of damages relating to the design patent.
“We have asserted all along that our HeatWave innovation was our own. We have opposed Columbia’s efforts to claim Seirus’ development as their own from the beginning of this lawsuit,” said Mike Carey, company founder and CEO. “We feel completely vindicated in this process and thank the jury for its hard work. This means a lot to our employees who have worked hard over the years on our HeatWave line of products.”
The jury also found that Seirus owed money for infringement of a design patent relating to the old Seirus design. “We are confident that the basis of the design patent award can be successfully challenged on appeal,” Mr. Carey stated. “In the end, we are glad to have the trial behind us, and look forward to being able to move forward unencumbered by Columbia’s threat of patent infringement.”
Columbia seems to see things differently and were apparently awarded over $3 million in damages for infringement of one of its omni-heat design patents by Seirus
Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ:COLM) today issued the following statement regarding the jury verdict in its patent infringement lawsuit against Seirus Innovative Accessories:
On September 29, a jury in the federal district court in San Diego awarded damages to Columbia Sportswear in the amount of $3.018 million for Seirus's infringement of one of Columbia's U.S. design patents in its portfolio of patents concerning its Omni-Heat Reflective technology. The amount awarded represents Seirus's total profits from the sale of its infringing HeatWave products. Columbia is also entitled to prejudgment interest and to seek the profits that retailers earned through their sales of the Seirus infringing products.
"We are very pleased that Seirus has been held accountable for infringing our design patent," said Peter Bragdon, Columbia's Executive Vice President and General Counsel. "Seirus continued to promote and sell its infringing HeatWave products even after Judge Hernandez ruled in August 2016 that the products infringed Columbia's U.S. design patent, unfairly profiting from Columbia's innovations. We believe all our innovative products provide superior performance and we will continue to aggressively pursue infringing products."
The jury also found that two claims of one of Columbia's U.S. Omni-Heat utility patents are invalid. "We continue to maintain numerous patents around the globe related to our Omni-Heat designs and technology, and will seek to overturn the jury's partial invalidation of one of our U.S. Omni-Heat patents," said Bragdon.
The court rulings are subject to appeal.