An unusual partnership between three Minneapolis law firms resulted in three significant patent litigation victories for their client, Arctic Cat, over the past two years.
The first victory, Arctic Cat Inc. v. Bombardier Recreational Products Inc., pitted Arctic Cat against Bombardier Recreational Products for patent infringement of its Jet Ski technology. The case involved a successful trial verdict for Arctic Cat in Miami, and an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Nicholas Boebel of Hansen Reynolds and Diane Peterson, Aaron Myers, and Niall MacLeod of Kutak Rock represented Arctic Cat at trial and on appeal. John Dragseth, of Fish & Richardson, was brought on to provide appellate expertise and argue the appeal. Arctic Cat in-house counsel was Michael Okerlund, followed by Fletcher Thomson after Arctic Cat was acquired by Textron.
Among other facts instrumental to Arctic Cat’s victory in the important case, Dragseth said, was Bombardier’s attempt to buy the patents through a third-party broker, leading the jury to find it had willfully violated the patents.
In a second case, Kutak Rock’s trial team successfully avoid BRP’s allegations in Minnesota federal court that Arctic Cat infringed patents covering snowmobile frame design and rider positioning. Arctic Cat received a jury verdict in December 2017 finding both of BRP’s asserted patents invalid on multiple grounds.
In a third case, Fish & Richardson’s team, including lawyers Joseph Herriges Jr. and Dragseth, successfully rebuffed two patent-infringement claims involving ATV technology made by Polaris Industries against Arctic Cat.
“I think there is a good story to be had in the easy hand-overs in these cases because we’ve known each other a long time,” Dragseth said. “We’re all in our mid-to late 40s and we all came up together. There were no egos involved, which is unusual.”