The latest ruling in a drawn-out patent infringement lawsuit between Arctic Cat and Polaris Industries has gone in Polaris’ favor.
A U.S. District judge ruled Tuesday to dismiss a counter lawsuit Arctic Cat had filed.
The suit centers around the technology developed for Polaris’ two-seater side-by-side all-terrain vehicles.
Polaris, based in Medina, first sued Plymouth-based Arctic Cat in December 2013 for alleged patent violations. At the time, Polaris alleged that Arctic Cat’s Wildcat side-by-side off-road ATVs and some other products violated its patents.
Arctic Cat filed a countersuit, alleging that Polaris had engaged in “inequitable conduct” and filed “sham litigation.” It argued that only some of Polaris’ designs were patented and claimed that although patents for other technologies were filed in 2006, they were not officially issued as of Sept. 9, 2014.
Polaris asked the court to dismiss the claim.
The court did just that. In the ruling filed Tuesday, the court said that Arctic Cat failed to prove either that Polaris’ patent attorney tried to intentionally deceive the patent office and failed to prove that the argued facts were “material.”
Polaris’ original patent infringement lawsuit now will likely be heard by the court.
Polaris officials declined to comment Tuesday because of the “ongoing litigation.” Arctic Cat did not respond to requests for comment.
In 2007, industry analysts noted that Arctic Cat was a latecomer to the craze for side-by-side styled ATVs. The style was adopted throughout the industry and helped to drive ATV sales for several years.
The products were winners for both Arctic Cat and the much larger Polaris, which also makes motorcycles, utility mobiles and products for the U.S. Army in addition to the traditional ATVs and snowmobiles that both companies have made for decades.
Arctic Cat, which is expanding operations in St. Cloud and Thief River Falls, Minn., generates about $730 million in annual sales, with the bulk of that coming from ATV and side-by-side sales. Polaris generated $4.5 billion in sales last year, with the bulk of that coming from ATVs, with an assist from parts and garment sales and rising sales of motorcycles.