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 SNEWS®, "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.