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U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Elizabeth LaPorte recently ruled that Avocet Sports Technology Inc. waited an unreasonable amount of time, 6 years, to initiate a patent infringement case against Polar Electro, Inc. Thus, she dismissed the case due to the doctrine of laches.
Avocet Sports Technology Inc., a Palo Alto, California company, tried to convince the Judge that the 6-year delay was due to a lack of funds needed to pursue litigation, but the Judge dismissed the excuse as having “no authority” to uphold it. She further stated that Avocet’s claim of lack of knowledge was unjustified because Avocet Sports should have taken action sooner if it knew of possible infringing activity by Polar Electro.
Avocet Sports filed the complaint a year ago against Polar Electro in a California federal courtroom alleging that Polar infringed on one of its patents. The patent at issue, U.S. Patent Number 5,058,427, issued in 1991 for “Methods for selectively accumulating altitude changes”. The patent involves a strap-on device which Avocet Sports developed as a GPS-type of monitor which tracks a hiker, cyclist, or runner’s variations in altitude while on a trek.
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(Intellectual Property News.com)
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