JOHNSON OUTDOORS announced a major pre-trial ruling in accordance with the Companys position in its patent infringement case against Confluence Watersports, owned by American Capital Strategies (ACS). The ruling issued by the Federal District Court in Portland, Oregon on March 2, 2004 establishes the legal definitions for the technical terms and claims on which patent infringement will be decided, and affirmed in totality the Companys arguments regarding the meaning, intent and scope of these.
Johnson Outdoors filed suit more than two years ago against Confluence Watersports (maker of the Mad River Canoe brand) alleging violation of its Old Town Canoe “Discovery” patent, which protects among other things, the Companys unique and proprietary roto-molding process. In June 2003, the Court heard the evidence and legal arguments from both parties on which the Courts March 2, 2004 ruling was based. Importantly, once the case proceeds to trial, jurors will be instructed to apply these legal definitions in reaching a final determination on patent infringement.
“Real innovation that brings real value and real choice drives our success, and delivers what our customers and consumers demand. By protecting our ideas and inventions, we protect their investment and loyalty in our brands.” said Helen Johnson-Leipold, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Johnson Outdoors Inc.