from the safety-is-less-important-than-monopolies dept
Danny alerts us to the story of how sporting goods maker Riddell was able to drive competitor Schutt Sports into bankruptcy thanks to patent lawsuits. Riddell first sued Schutt for patent infringement on its football helmet design, winning a $29 million jury award. Right afterwards, it sued Schutt again, this time for shoulder pad design. A week later, Schutt declared bankruptcy. Now I'm sure, some will be quick to claim that this is exactly what the patent system is designed to do, but it does seem pretty troubling that, especially when it comes to safety issues, we're allowing one company to have a total monopoly on a type of safety gear. What's wrong with actually competing in the market?