‘Extend patent bar to design practitioners’, say academics
SCOTUS rejects pair of copyright and design patent suits
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Columbia Sportswear is suing Canadian outerwear company Wuxly for infringing a design patent covering heat-reflective material.
In a lawsuit filed on April 27 at the US District Court for the District of Oregon, Columbia claimed that Wuxly’s Sabertooth line of jackets uses a lightweight underlining that infringes its Omni-Heat Reflective material. Columbia chose to sue in its home state of Oregon under the “alien venue” rule, as Wuxly is registered in Canada and has no established place of business in the US.
The design patent-in-suit (US number 655,921) covers a heat-reflective material that retains body heat, as well as allowing breathability and moisture wicking. Specifically, the patent covers the “ornamental design” in which the lining is woven.
Wuxly describes its brand as being based around “sustainable Canadian outerwear”. The Sabertooth jacket is still available for sale on its website, at a price of CAD$1299 (US$1056). It describes the Sabertooth as “the best jacket in the world”, featuring a reflective underlining “to maximize your body heat in the coldest of conditions”.
Columbia says it first informed Wuxly of its infringing products in November 2020, but despite the Canadian company’s CEO acknowledging receipt of the letter, Wuxly continued to sell its Sabertooth products with the infringing underlining.
The Oregon brand wants the district court to issue preliminary and permanent injunctions against Wuxly, banning its Canadian rival from selling the allegedly infringing jacket line in the US.
In addition, Columbia is seeking a disgorgement of Wuxly’s profits and a “reasonable royalty” based on the allegedly infringing sales, as well as treble damages.
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Columbia Sportswear, Wuxly, design patents, jacket, Sabertooth, underlining, heat reflective, Omni-Heat