Avocet Sports Technology and Vertical Instruments, both based in Northern California, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Amer Sports and its subsidiary, Suunto USA, for alleged patent infringement. The lawsuit, filed on Sept. 10, demands a jury trial and seeks damages in excess of $20 million plus reasonable costs and attorney fees.
The patents that were allegedly infringed upon are No. 5,295,085 issued on March 15, 1994, and No. 5,058,423 issued on Oct. 22, 1991, to Avocet. Patent No. 4,694,694 was issued on Sept. 22, 1987, to Vertical Instruments.
SNEWS® View: Avocet is perhaps best known in the outdoor market for its Avocet Vertech (for skiing) and Alpin (for hiking) altimeter watches that entered the market in 1993 and predate the Suunto, Highgear, Casio, Timex and other versions by a number of years. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, and if the lawsuit expands beyond the world of Amer and Suunto.