SYRACUSE, NY A recent court victory by a group of archery equipment companies against a plaintiff who claimed his patent for technology associated with the previously used "fall-away" archery rest had been infringed demonstrates the value of defendants in the same industry banding together and mounting a vigorous defense instead of settling out of court, says Michael Oropallo, a partner in the law firm of Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, which represented the archery companies.
Of the fifteen or so companies originally sued, Hiscock & Barclay, LLP represented thirteen, including Cobra Manufacturing Co., Ripcord Technologies, Inc., Copper John Corporation, Gander Mountain Company, Bass Pro, and John Schaffer Performance Archery Products, Inc. They were sued for patent infringement by Donald W. Piersons, Jr. in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. After a favorable ruling for the defendants during the claims construction stage of the litigation, U.S. Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles issued a decision invalidating the plaintiff's patent because the fall-away rest he had patented for use on a compound bow was not novel or "nonobvious," largely because the defendants were able to show similar fall-away rests had been developed and sold many years prior to the plaintiff's claimed invention.
"What made this case so unique is that the defendants involved are competitors in the archery industry, yet they recognized their common interest, banded together, consolidated their resources, and mounted a joint defense in successfully showing this patent was invalid," said Oropallo. "All too often, companies facing patent infringement lawsuits whether they are frivolous or well-intentioned, filed by patent trolls' or more serious individuals make the tough business decision that out of court settlements will be less costly and troublesome than litigation. However, this case demonstrates that a united front presented by similarly situated defendants can be both cost-effective and successful."
The full list of defendants in this litigation is:
QUALITY ARCHERY DESIGNS, INC., COBRA MANUFACTURING COMPANY, INC., PRECISION SHOOTING EQUIPMENT, INC., TROPHY TAKER, INC., TROPHY TAKER, LLC, RIPCORD TECHNOLOGIES INC., H. H. & A. SPORTS, INC., COPPER JOHN CORPORATION, ALPINE ARCHERY INCORPORATED, CAVALIER EQUIPMENT COMPANY, INC., INVENTIVE TECHNOLOGY, GOLDEN KEY - FUTURA INC., LANCASTER ARCHERY SUPPLY, INC., TR OUTDOORS ARCHERY EXPERTS LLC, MACK'S SPORT SHOP, LLP d/b/a MACK'S PRAIRIE WINGS, CABELA'S INCORPORATED, GANDER MOUNTAIN COMPANY, BASS PRO OUTDOOR WORLD, LLC, BASS PRO OUTDOORS ONLINE, LLC, ARCHERY SPORTS LLC, HUNTER'S FRIEND LLC, EDER, INC., ABOVE TIMBERLINE PRODUCTS, INC. individually and d/b/a ARCHERY WAREHOUSE, and JOHN SCHAFFER PERFORMANCE ARCHERY PRODUCTS, INC.