Considering the current events in water sports in relation to patent infringement lawsuits, I find this article very interesting. Liquid Force files lawsuits against Ronix and Company Wake for patent infringement (LINK and LINK) yet Slingshot is welcomed into the “family” of Kent Water Sports. Not that Slingshot was bought by Kent Water Sports but appears to have been spared legal action. Did Liquid Force attempt to cooperate with Ronix and Company Wake in regards to patent number 7,766,711 before filing lawsuits against those companies? Was Slingshot spared legal action because they had something of use in the form of patented control bar technology?
Is Liquid Force really trying to support their claim that they are attempting to cooperate with all brands by giving Hyperlite and CWB as examples of companies they have agreed to license their technology when both companies are under the same parent company of Kent Water Sports? Serious? I think it is also interesting that Liquid Force shows Naish as another company they have “agreed” to license their technology considering the lawsuit filed by Nalu Kai Incorporated (the parent company of Naish) against Motion Water Sports, Inc. (the parent company of Liquid Force). (LINK)
It seems as though there is a lot of “agreements” going on in the industry but there’s definitely more than one way to make somebody see your side and not all of them are pretty.
This is a press release that was posted on Wakeworld website by Liquid Force.
Innovation and Technology drive progression and enable athletes to take their sport to the next level.
Encinitas, CA – Slingshot Sports and Liquid Force are both market leaders when it comes to product innovation and today Slingshot has agreed to license Liquid Force’s latest binding patent and Liquid Force has agreed to license Slingshot’s control bar patent.
Jeff Logosz, CEO of Slingshot Sports says, “We are strong proponents of technology and innovation. Utilizing Liquid Force’s binding patent gives our designers the freedom to build new products on a proven platform that will enhance our boot to board connection. Fortunately, we were able to come to an agreement with Liquid Force pretty easily and we are happy to be in good cooperation with them.”
Liquid Force was issued US Patent No. 7,766,711 on August 3rd, 2010. Since that time, Liquid Force has been attempting to cooperate with all the brands who utilize this technology. Slingshot joins Hyperlite, CWB and Naish as companies who have agreed to license this technology.
Slingshot Sports was issued US Patent No. 7,581,701 for innovation in control bar technology. Tony Finns says “Slingshot’s new control bar patent enables the rider to adjust the power of the kite easier so our team riders and designers utilized this technology to design our kite bars.” Tony also added, “I am really stoked that we are able to cooperate with Slingshot. They are an innovative company and we were able to work a deal out that will benefit all wakeboarders and kiteboarders.”
“We are moving our sports forward,” added Logosz. “Innovation drives progression and both Liquid Force and Slingshot riders will benefit from the solid cooperation between the brands.”