Smith Optics and Koroyd have jointly filed a patent infringement action against Burton, claiming that the WaveCel shock-absorbing material Burton uses in some helmets infringes on its jointly owned patent.
The suit against Burton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah accuses Burton of infringing US Patent No.10,736, 373 (jointly owned by Smith & Koroyd) by selling and importing Anon-branded Logan and Merak snow helmets that incorporate WaveCel technology.
According to the lawsuit, Burton was informed of Smith’s and Koroyd’s patent rights and was asked to respect those rights by not making or selling the accused Anon-branded Wavecel helmets. Burton moved forward with the launch of the Anon helmets, leaving Smith and Koroyd to pursue the federal court action to protect its intellectual property rights.
A second lawsuit brought by Koroyd against Burton in Germany also alleges IP violations based on WaveCel helmets.
Since 2013, Smith has partnered with Koroyd, creators of the green, open-cell technology using welded tubes, that crumple immediately upon impact, within its helmets. Together, Smith and Koroyd have invested almost a decade in research and development to integrate Koroyd material into Smith products under a patented method.
“Our business is structured in such a way to inspire transformation and innovation throughout our entire group,” said John Lloyd, founder and managing director, Koroyd. “Through our long-term R&D investments, we have consistently delivered unique safety solutions which offer a significant performance advantage compared to legacy and emerging products and have become the trusted technology partner to the leading brands in a diverse range of industries. Copycat products offer little advancement for the end consumer and impede innovations for all. This action is part of our global strategy to enforce our registered rights. The protection of intellectual property encourages innovation, copying product reduces innovation and, if rewarded, discourages research and development. We will continue to maximize our contribution to the sports and safety segments and protection of people pursuing their passions and facilitating them to experience life to the fullest,” he continued.
Photo courtesy Burton