Ocean Kayak's relentless pursuit of those the company feels have
infringed on its patents bore fruit earlier this week. In a judgment
handed down in Federal District Court in Portland, Ore., it was deemed
that as a matter of law Ocean Kayak's Malibu Two patent is valid. The
Oct. 4 summary judgment found Cobra Kayak's Tandem, Triple, and Fish 'n
Dive models to all "indisputably infringe" upon Ocean Kayak's patents.
As a result, Ocean Kayak's Malibu Two, Ocean Kayak Cabo, and Aegean are
currently the only tandem kayaks on the market with patented seating
and hull design that allows a flexible seating arrangement -- for one,
two, or two and a small passenger -- in a portable, compact design.
The Court ruling means that Ocean Kayak has exclusive rights to
manufacture and sell tandem sit-on-tops with center seat and
overlapping foot well features. Any other company that designs or sells
a kayak using these features infringes on Ocean Kayak's rights under
U.S. patent law.
Del McAlpine, Ocean Kayak's controller, stated, "This process has been
long, and our competitors have misrepresented the validity of our
patent. We are thrilled with Judge Ancer Haggerty's decision."
McAlpine also told SNEWSÂ®, "There are still a couple of other cases
pending that we are pursuing." He added, "We will vigorously continue
to go after all who infringe on our patents."
A trial to determine appropriate damages will be conducted on Nov. 6,
2001. The sole issue will be the amount owed by Glenwa (Cobra Kayaks)
to Ocean Kayak for infringing on Ocean Kayak's patents.