Late last week, 412 posted a link to a civil complaint that Warrior Lacrosse, Inc. has filed against Maverik Lacrosse, LLC. The complaint claims patent infringement on the part of Maverik as it relates to four protective padding patents that Warrior owns, and how Maverik’s new Rome glove is designed. Lawsuit Summary 1. Lawsuit Summary 2.
This civil action is still in its earliest stages, and since we don’t know patent law like the back of our hand, we reached out to someone who does, to get his knowledgeable take on the situation.
Barry Marenberg, a sports-focused Intellectual Property attorney with GameDay IP, LLC, and man about the lacrosse world decoded the legal jargon for us, and laid out a typical course of action for a case like this. So if you’re curious what a lacrosse-related civil suit between to manufacturers looks like, this is it:
I read through Warrior’s Complaint. With the exponential growth of lacrosse it’s not surprising that the lax companies have begun to battle with each other to assert their product superiority and to protect their innovations and advancements in their equipment technology.
The Warrior Complaint is a typical, vague Complaint for patent infringement. It is Warrior saying (my paraphrase): “We have these patents covering our glove designs and you (Maverik) have infringed our patents by making, using, selling, offering to sell or importing into the US, your Maverik gloves, such as the ‘Rome’ model”.
To keep it brief; the Warrior patents are directed to protective gloves. The patented gloves include, but are not limited to, features such as enhanced padding, protection and flexibility, floating wrist cuffs and subcuffs, increased ventilation and better fit.
Not much can be opined in this case based on the Complaint alone. Most legal Complaints for patent infringement are initially vague. After being served with the Complaint, the Defendant typically must respond within a minimum of 21 days by serving an Answer (many opportunities exist to extend this time to file an Answer) on the Plaintiff. The Answer will typically be just as vague and typically will refute just about everything alleged in the Complaint. Maverik could even include counterclaims in its Answer and allege infringement by Warrior of claims in its own patents.
After the Answer has been served, the more specific details will emerge when “Discovery Requests” start flying back and forth between the parties. At that time, Warrior will get much more specific about which claims of its patents are being infringed, and specify about which parts of which Maverik gloves are in-turn (purportedly) infringing the claims. Maverik will typically argue they don’t infringe because their gloves (or the alleged infringing parts of the gloves) are different from the asserted Warrior patent claims. Maverik could also allege that Warrior’s patents are not valid for one or more reasons.
Additional note: Warrior sued Reebok back in January (2011) alleging parent infringement by Reebok of many of the same patents asserted in this current complaint against Maverik.
So it seems like this is pretty standard fare for sports manufacturers trying to protect their products. It is definitely not Earth-shattering news by any extent, but for a sport so consumed with “gear”, it’s only natural for people to take a closer look at the companies making the product, and be interested. This is all pretty much public knowledge, but we thought the lacrosse community would be interested to know what goes on behind the store front curtain. This is how your gear is made!
If you need an IP consult, you can always reach out to Barry himself at firstname.lastname@example.org. As you can see, he’sa useful guy to know!