Columbia Sportswear Files Omni-Heat Patent Lawsuit Against Seirus Innovative Accessories
Outdoor apparel manufacturer Columbia Sportswear has filed a lawsuit against Seirus Innovative Accessories, a Utah-based outdoor gear brand, for allegedly infringing on Columbia's patent for insulating Omni-Heat reflective material.
The lawsuit, which was filed last week, accuses Seirus of selling gloves made from heat-reflecting material that boasts a wavy ornamental design under the trade name "Heatwave."
Columbia initially obtained the patent for its own reflective material, called Omni-Heat, in April 2012. The federal patent covers the wavy design, even though the typical Omni Heat surface features a series of foil dots on fabric.
Columbia is seeking Seirus' profits from the sale of its gloves at no less than $250 per pair. The company is also seeking a "reasonable royalty" for Seirus' alleged use of the patent in addition to interest and costs, the lawsuit claimed.
This is not the first time Columbia's heated apparel line has been involved in a lawsuit. In March 2012, Innovative Sports filed a lawsuit against Columbia Sportswear, alleging the company lifted designs for heated clothing without permission. According to the lawsuit, the two companies held meetings between 2004 and 2007 to discuss incorporating Innovative Sports' technologies in a line of outerwear. No deal was struck and Columbia later launched its own line of heated apparel in 2009. Innovative Sports dropped the lawsuit in April 2013.
More recently, in September 2013, Columbia sued manufacturing partner, Hong Kong-based Fibretronic Limited, for allegedly supplying faulty electronic components for the company's line of heated outerwear causing short outs and melted fabric. In an unrelated incident, Columbia issued a recall for some of its heated jackets in November 2011, and reissued that recall in January 2013 after discovering items had defects stemming from battery packs. Columbia eventually announced that it would not offer electronically heated jackets in its 2013-2014 winter collection.
For more information, read OregonLive's story on the lawsuit.
Elise Hacking Carr is editor-in-chief/content director for Print+Promo magazine.