Ski Manufacturer Turns Patent Troll, Igniting Patent Response & Pissing Off Potential Customers

from the bad-chess-players dept

Crosbie Fitch alerts us to the news that skiing manufacturer Armada apparently secured a patent 7,690.674 earlier this year on a "snow riding implement," and the company has started sending out threat letters to a bunch of competitors. Now, two interesting things have happened in response. First, at least one of the companies threatened, Rossignol, has responded by pulling out one of its own patents (6,986,525 and filing a lawsuit against Armada for infringement, while also asking for declaratory judgment that it does not infringe on Armada's patent:
Rossignol more or less has admitted that, while it has this patent, it's basically just held it for defensive purposes, such as when someone else threatens it with patent infringement.

The second interesting thing is that if you read through the threads on either of the links forums above, you see a ton of customers swearing off Armada products. Oops. As Crosbie notes in his submission:
"One thing that patent trolls seem to be unaware of is the growing awareness in their customers of patents as a tool of extortion, so when a market player plays dirty, it's not just their competition they piss off, but their market, especially their current and potential customers."
Of course... that only applies to "trolls" who also make products...
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Filed Under: backlash, patents, skiing
Companies: armada, rossignol


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  • identicon
    Nosybear, 29 Oct 2010 @ 12:16pm

    Patent Trolling on Skis

    Dang, and I was just thinking of buying a pair of Rossi boots....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    a-dub (profile), 29 Oct 2010 @ 12:21pm

    I am beginning to see that the companies that engage in this type of activity do not value their customers.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AJ, 29 Oct 2010 @ 12:47pm

    Correction

    Armada did not file, they sent a "extortion/Cease and desist" letter, and Rossi retaliated by filing a lawsuit of their own...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2010 @ 1:04pm

    Mike, you should've mentioned that bit a while back with the patent office trying to get through the backlog of patents by just approving them all. Someone successfully patenting a "snow riding implement" seems like it might be related.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      wvhillbilly, 3 Nov 2010 @ 7:44pm

      Re: "Snow riding implement"

      What!? Does the Armada patent cover every device that rides on snow? I know patent trolls like to make their patents as broad as possible, but this takes the cake.

      Did Armada ever think about prior art on all these "snow riding implements"? Such things have been around a lot longer than I have.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Mike42 (profile), 29 Oct 2010 @ 2:18pm

    He-LO Microsoft...

    Perhaps Microsoft should take a hint from this, stop extorting money from phone manufacturers for loading Android on their handsets, and JUST COMPETE with other handsets ON THE OPEN MARKET.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    abc gum, 29 Oct 2010 @ 5:32pm

    Armada? Never heard of them

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 29 Oct 2010 @ 6:08pm

    This is why I advise the use of proxy entities, who don't practice anything but law while collecting fees.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2010 @ 9:31am

    Once again the idiots at the USPTO create litigation instead of protection. The blind leading the blind. They can't even research their current patents. Sounds like a database programming gig for someone!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    staff, 30 Oct 2010 @ 5:10pm

    truth about trolls

    "Patent Troll"

    Call it what you will...patent hoarder, patent troll, non-practicing entity, etc. It all means one thing: “we’re using your invention and we’re not going to pay”.

    For the truth about trolls, please see http://truereform.piausa.org.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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