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Smith, one of the biggest names in ski helmets in North America, has filed a joint lawsuit against snowsports brand competitor Burton for patent infringement. Smith filed the lawsuit in conjunction with Koroyd, its longtime partner in developing new helmet technology.
The two companies claim that Burton is using their patented technology in two new helmets launched by Burton’s helmet and eyewear brand, Anon.
According to the complaint obtained by our sister title, Outside Business Journal, Smith and Koroyd claim that the WaveCel technology incorporated in Anon’s new Logan and Merak helmets is too similar to the Koroyd technology implemented in Smith helmets since 2013, and therefore infringes upon patented technology.
Anon launched the Merak and Logan to much fanfare in January 2021, highlighting the integrated WaveCel technology, which uses a collapsible cellular structure to distribute impact forces away from the head during rotational and linear impacts. WaveCel was already used in Bontrager bike helmets, but with the launch of the Merak and Logan, Anon celebrated being the first to introduce the technology in snow helmets.
Watch: What is WaveCel?
But according to Smith and Koroyd, the way WaveCel is integrated and marketed in Anon’s new helmets violates the two brands’ intellectual property.
“Since 2013, Smith has partnered with Koroyd—creators of the iconic green, open cell technology utilizing welded tubes that crumple instantly on impact—within its helmets to continue the legacy of innovation and design while providing consumers advanced impact protection and superior performance,” the two companies said in a joint press release. “Together, Smith and Koroyd have invested almost a decade of time and resources into research and development to integrate Koroyd material into Smith products under a unique, patented method.”
In filing this joint lawsuit, Smith and Koroyd are seeking an injunction against Burton that would prohibit the brand from continuing to sell the Merak and Logan helmets, and any other future products that directly or indirectly infringe upon their patent. The two companies are also seeking relief from financial damages, including attorney fees and costs incurred by the lawsuit.
Before the lawsuit, which was filed on July 15, Burton/Anon had plans to release a new ski helmet for winter 2021 that would also include WaveCel technology. Burton has yet to comment or issue a formal statement on the lawsuit.