llllllooooooWe reported in September 2000 about Ocean Kayak's suit against Watermark for patent infringement on its Malibu Two and Cabo sit-on-top kayaks. Because of the pending suit, Watermark's Islander division did not show any of its Festiva kayaks at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
In December, an agreement was reached stipulating Watermark will no longer sell any multi-person sit-on-top kayak that has "foot wells that themselves overlap or allow the feet or legs of a person to overlap, a forward facing seat." OK, legalese but Ocean Kayak made its point.
But the company hasn't stopped there. It continues to press on patent infringement issues. On December 11, Ocean Kayak filed suit against California-based Glenwa, Inc. (Cobra Kayaks) for infringement of Ocean Kayak's U.S. Patent No. 5,964,177 and U.S. Patent No. 6,152,063. These patents are currently embodied in Ocean Kayak's Malibu Two and Cabo models. Ocean Kayak's federal court complaint asserts the Cobra Tandem is a copy of the Malibu Two model and infringes upon its patent. Ocean Kayak seeks damages and an injunction against further infringement.
"We are determined to defend Ocean Kayak's substantial investment in our patented products. We are confident that the federal court will grant us all of the relief we have requested," said Del McAlpine, Ocean Kayak's Controller.
A release from Ocean Kayak states: "Ocean Kayak believes that the rapid penetration of the Malibu Two into resorts and popular markets generated enormous pressure on other kayak companies to create a comparable product."
Ocean Kayak Director of Sales, Mark Harman, added in the release: "The unique features of the Malibu Two contributed to astronomical growth within the sit-on-top kayak industry. The overlapping foot wells are a special feature that lend to the versatility of the Malibu Two and Cabo models. In fact, we think this patented feature is so unique many competitors may be willing to risk infringement to save their place in the sit-on-top kayak market segment. This feature is definitely one of the primary contributors to the growth within the industry."