New ruling on BRP, Arctic Cat lawsuit

In June Powersports Business reported a ruling in favor of BRP that effectively banned the sale of Arctic Cat snowmobiles that infringed on a patent held by Ski-Doo parent company Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) for the use of its subframe beneath the ProCross/ProClimb chassis dating back to 2008.

A recent ruling has determined that spring ordered Arctic Cat sales – oftentimes a large portion of the sales season – will not be allowed to proceed as planned.

The new ruling affects 732 pre-ordered, adult-sized Arctic Cat snowmobiles that were reserved by customers in Canada with a $750 deposit. Youth snowmobile sales were not affected by the ruling.

Arctic Cat, along with four dealerships – Universe Satellite Sales, Country Corners Rent-All, Valley Moto Sport Kelowna and Morin Sports – previously asked that it instead pay a “reasonable royalty” in lieu of not being able to deliver the pre-ordered/reserved 2021 snowmobiles, arguing that its competitive position in Canada would be irreparably harmed; its relationship with Canadian customers would suffer permanent harm; serious reputational harm would follow; and independent Arctic Cat dealers in Canada would suffer irreparable harm to their businesses.

However, the judge ruled that deposits did not constitute a final sale, and “pre-orders can be cancelled by customers, with their deposit being paid back.”

It’s not a legal battle that affects U.S. dealers yet, but it’s one that’s grown increasingly contentious between two of the four major snowmobile manufacturers. As a result, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

For more in-depth coverage, check out Snow Goer – a Powersports Business sibling publication.

— Nick Longworth, nlongworth at epgmediallc.com

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