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Polaris Files Complaint for Patent Infringement Against Arctic Cat

Polaris RZR 800
Polaris RZR 800

Minnesota based Polaris Industries filed a Complaint for Patent Infringement against Arctic Cat on Dec. 20, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota. According to court documents filed Friday in U.S. District Court, Polaris filed patent applications for its side-by-side ATVs in 2006, with an update in 2010. The U.S. patent office officially approved the Polaris patent application on December 3, 2013.

The current patent description is for an all-terrain vehicle is shown which includes a frame, an engine supported by the frame, a transmission supported by the frame. A pair of front wheels, and a pair of rear wheels are operably coupled to the frame. A pair of laterally spaced-apart seating surfaces are supported by the frame. A pair of outermost lateral points of the vehicle define a vehicle width less than 54 inches (trail compliant side-by-side all terrain vehicles). Further detail from U.S. Pat. No. 8596405:

  • an engine supported by the rear frame portion, the engine positioned rearwardly of the seating area
  • a transmission coupled to and extending rearwardly of the engine
  • a low point of the seating surface is below a top of the engine
  • fuel tank being positioned below one of the seating surfaces
  • a battery positioned below the other of the seating surfaces
  • rear axle assembly is positioned rearwardly of the engine
  • engine includes a continuously variable clutch

Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail
Arctic Cat Wildcat Trail

The complaint filed by Polaris doesn’t specify which specific claim in its patent has been violated.  After reviewing the patent description, it appears that Polaris is claiming that Arctic Cat’s new trail compliant Wildcat Trail is violating their patent which covers the Polaris RZR 800 and RZR 570.

Since the launch of the RZR 800 in 2008, Polaris has been the only manufacturer to offer a trail-capable Side-by-Side. At 50 inches wide, the RZR 570 is the second trail-capable model in the family. Built with the patented design that places the engine behind the seat, the trail-compliant RZRs have a low center of gravity that deliver agile handling on the trail.

In addition to barring Arctic Cat from allegedly infringing on its patent, Polaris is asking the court to order Arctic Cat to pay damages and its legal costs. Polaris is asking that “all issues be determined by a jury.”

Neither Polaris or Arctic Cat would comment on the pending litigation.

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