Polaris files patent lawsuit against Ski-Doo over snowmobile suspensions

In the latest round of snowmobile manufacturer lawsuits, Polaris Industries today announced that it has filed suit against Ski-Doo maker Bombardier Recreation Products over alleged patent infringements related to snowmobiles.

In its announcement, Polaris didn’t disclose the exact details of what patent it thought was violated but hinted it had something to do with suspension systems on trail and crossover models, so we’re speculating at this point that the rMotion rear suspension may be the target. That is just speculation, however, because the information released to this point doesn’t even specify whether the suit is referring to front and rear suspension designs.

The announcement comes one day short of seven months from when BRP announced Dec. 15, 2011, that it was suing Arctic Cat over patent infringement related to Cat’s latest chassis designs.

Manufacturers suing each other really isn’t new – it has gone on for decades and has lead to settlements that include the sharing and trading of technology, from coupled suspension designs to push button reverse and beyond. What is new in the modern era is that the filing of a patent lawsuit is now timed with the sending of a press release.

Here is the press release from Polaris.

Polaris Industries Inc. Files Patent Infringement Lawsuit against Bombardier Recreational Products

MINNEAPOLIS (June 14, 2012) – Polaris Industries Inc. today announced it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (BRP) in U.S. District Court. The lawsuit specifically details alleged infringements of patents by BRP that were issued to Polaris.

The company is not disclosing specific details of the lawsuit at this time, but the patents in question in this case relate to the suspension systems of trail performance and crossover snowmobiles, product categories in which both companies design, manufacture and sell products. Polaris alleges that BRP violated patents owned by Polaris, and knowingly continued to violate these patents after receiving written notice.

“For more than 55 years, a key foundation of our culture and success at Polaris has been innovation,” said Marlys Knutson, spokesperson for Polaris. “We have a respectful relationship with BRP, but we always have and always will vigorously defend our intellectual property.”


About Polaris

Polaris is a recognized leader in the powersports industry with annual 2011 sales of $2.7 billion. Polaris designs, engineers, manufactures and markets innovative, high quality off-road vehicles (ORVs), including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and the Polaris RANGER® side-by-side vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles and on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles.

Polaris is among the global sales leaders for both snowmobiles and off-road vehicles and has established a presence in the heavyweight cruiser and touring motorcycle market with the Victory and Indian motorcycle brands. Additionally, Polaris continues to invest in the global on-road small electric/hybrid vehicle industry with Global Electric Motorcars (GEM) and Goupil Industrie SA, and internally developed vehicles. Polaris enhances the riding experience with a complete line of Pure Polaris apparel, accessories and parts, available at Polaris dealerships.

Polaris Industries Inc. trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “PII”, and the Company is included in the S&P Mid-Cap 400 stock price index.

Information about the complete line of Polaris products, apparel and vehicles accessories are available from authorized Polaris dealers or anytime at www.polarisindustries.com.

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