Icon appeal to court decision about Octane’s noninfringement denied - SNEWS

Icon appeal to court decision about Octane’s noninfringement denied

Octane prevails in a legal battle against Icon Health and Fitness, which claimed Octane infringed on its patent for elliptical machine mechanics and construction.

The saga that started in 2008 when Icon sued Octane and the now-defunct Nellie’s (which was liquidated by owners David and Sandra Delgadillo in 2009) has come to an end.

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied Icon’s appeal of the court’s decision that Octane did not infringe upon its patent (U.S. Patent 6,019,710) with Octane’s Q45 and Q47 elliptical machines. The original lawsuit was filed in California in 2008, as previously reported by SNEWS.

Though the courts ruled in 2010 that Octane did not infringe upon the patent, Icon had appealed the ruling. Still, Octane’s products were found not to infringe the Icon patent.

Octane President and CEO Dennis Lee said he is relieved that the Icon’s appeal was denied and that the whole ordeal is over. Back when the company was initially served, he was shocked, he said. 

“When you’ve done your due diligence and you feel confident that the patent that you’re working under is not infringing anyone, yeah it’s a surprise,” Lee said.

Icon representatives have not yet responded to messages left by SNEWS.

The ruling denying Icon’s appeal was based on the fact that the construction of the linkage systems on the item on the Icon patent and the Octane pieces was innately different.

“On summary judgment, the district court concluded that the “stroke rail” and “means for connecting” limitations were absent in the Q45 and Q47 machines and granted summary judgment of noninfringement,” court documents read. “The court held that the Q45 and Q47 did not have a stroke rail that “extends from a foot rail to the frame,” but instead has an intervening rocker link.”

In 2011, the courts denied Octane’s motion to cover attorney’s fees because the case was not found to be “exceptional” meaning Icon did not bring the suit in bad faith and the suit was not baseless. Octane officials declined to say how much the lawsuit cost them.

This isn’t Icon’s first bout with litigation, as SNEWS previously reported. According to court documents, Icon has been involved in more than 150 lawsuits since 1991. The most recent case was against Garmin, MapMyFitness and three other companies that Icon claimed infringed on its "800 patent" covering “methods and systems for controlling an exercise apparatus using a USB-compatible portable remote device.” According to the lawsuit, Icon claims Garmin’s FR70 monitoring device, heart rate monitors and its Garmin Connect Website all infringe its patent.

“We’re a small business trying to make things work and this has just been a really unneeded distraction,” Lee said. “It’s great to have it behind us.”

--Ana Trujillo