View Full Version : Mission suing Tour?
10-23-2003, 10:52 AM
I heard a rumor that Mission has filed a lawsuit against Tour over the use of Mission's patented "Hi-Lo" system for its skates. Is this true? More information?
10-23-2003, 12:55 PM
Everybody has a hi-lo setup. If they are thats just rediculous!
10-23-2003, 01:32 PM
not necessarily.... Mission came out with the concept first, and patented the actual Hi-Lo name.... I can see them suing over it. Dumb yes, but with good reason, maybe.
10-23-2003, 01:37 PM
Did tour ever actually call it a "Hi-Lo" though...I don't remember them using it. If they did, then yes mission does have a right to sue...but really it is pretty stupid!
10-23-2003, 01:57 PM
Tour is being sued. Don't know the details.
10-23-2003, 02:01 PM
You don't patent a name, for instance "Hi-Lo." You patent an invention. They could get a trademark on the name "Hi-Lo" but Tour doesn't use "Hi-Lo" they use some other name that I can't recall at the moment. Mission probably patented the technology and design of the Hi-Lo which Tour allegedly took and used in their own skates under a different name. Also, just because several companies have been using the technology, if Mission invented it first and patented it they have a right to defend their patent by suing the other companies who are making money off of their invention.
10-23-2003, 02:03 PM
Incorrect. It has nothing to do with stealing the name "Hi-Lo" it is instead about stealing the DESIGN of the Hi-Lo type chassis regardless of what they name it. If Tour is using the design, even if they call it something else they may be infringing Mission's patent. Of course this is all being done "allegedly" and the veracity of any allegations are yet to be proven.
10-23-2003, 03:33 PM
If this is the case...umm...didn;t labeda design missions chassis for the first hi-lo. As well...why aren't they suing...Labeda, Bauer(Shifty), Nike, Gear, Volcanix, etc...they all have hi-lo chassis. Mission is being childish.
10-23-2003, 03:58 PM
I wouldn't call it being childish. Mission is protecting their investment and the technology that they came up with. Mission wants a competitive edge over their competitors and if their competitors are just going to steal thier technology and use it they won't gain this edge. Mission would be stupid not to sue if this is the case. Another company is making money off of their engineering.
10-23-2003, 04:00 PM
Actually mission is benefiting from Labedas engineering. My point is, why don't the sue all the companies who use a hi-lo system?
Actually we bought a Labeda Hi/lo before Missions Hi/lo skates were on the market......back in about May of 1997. They introduced the Hi/Lo skates that year at USAC Nationals in Iowa I believe around Mid July. Unless they bought the patent rights from Labeda, I would be surprised if it's over the Hi/Lo design....maybe over the single axle/screw design.
The Labeda Hi/lo had been out for about 4 -6 months before that as I recall.
I agree. The Hi/lo was originally a Labeda design possibly licensed for use by Mission. In fact if I remember correctly, the Labeda web-site used to have a big write up on their commitment to technical development including the hi/lo chassis.
If it was an exclusive licencing agreement, they may have a case. Normally what will happen is that a percentage of the sales $ accrued by unauthorized users of the patented design (if infingement is proven) will be awarded to the plaintiff only if it's proven that there is infingement, if it's proven that the rights to use the design were licenced exclusively to Mission, and if it's proven that Mission suffered a measureable loss in sales volume due to the design being "usurped".
10-23-2003, 04:17 PM
I still think it is stupid. Why doesn't CCM sue baure for using steel skate blades. I believe CCM wa around before Bauer. for that matter...lets findout who made the first hockeystick, and then sue everyone else who coppied their design. Its petty bullcrap!
10-23-2003, 04:19 PM
Very interesting. Thanks for the insight. We can only wonder at this point.
The pursuit of another company like this usually has more to do with someone's corporate ego being bent out of shape than any real financial benefit. I have been involved in a variety of patent infingement cases in a different industry over the years.....score...Lawyers all smiles, everyone else big frowns.
All that has to happen to invalidate these claims is for someone to turn up a small private company who thought of the same idea before patents were applied for, produced one or two "hi/lo chassis', and then sold them on a commercial basis. This is a very common occurence and it will destroy someone's patent infingement case. Then after years of battling in court, the case get's thrown out when someone like this turns up. The design then becomes "common domain".
10-23-2003, 08:05 PM
You guys also do realize that a patent only lasts so long. I am not sure how long it lasts, but maybe they bought they shorter term one. A good example is nextel, they had a patent on the walkie talkie thingy and when it ran up, Verizon jumped on it to try and get in that market. Just a thought.
10-23-2003, 08:07 PM
Mission is just in a rut right now because the tour skates are selling better than the mission skates. Look at whoes 2003 models went on sale first, Tour's. I think that might have something to do with it. Plus I know a lot of my friends have problems with Mission Skates, noises and such. I love my G-80's.
10-23-2003, 10:51 PM
Didnt that happen between labeda and kuzak or hyper over MR Sticky wheels???
Not sure, but that could easily happen with people trying various compounds and arrangements for better grip on different surfaces. With all the speed skating teams trying different experimental wheels, it would be a high probabilty that almost any design had been tried somewhere before.
10-24-2003, 10:02 AM
wrong. you CAN patent a name. I know this from personal experience in dealings regarding copyrights, etc...
10-24-2003, 10:03 AM
like i said above, you CAN be sued for using the same name. I know this for a FACT.
10-24-2003, 10:04 AM
funny......... Mission skates still outsell Tour skates 2 to 1. I wouldn't exactly call that a 'rut'......
10-24-2003, 11:39 AM
You can trademark a name, you can copyright a work of art, and you can patent an invention. They are three separate legal doctrines. You cannot PATENT a NAME. You are therefore incorrect. I am a third-year law student thank you very much.
10-24-2003, 11:41 AM
Again you are wrong. You could be sued for TRADEMARK infringement if you use the name "Hi-Lo" but not for patent infringement. Patent infringement would involve using someone else's design or invention without permission, not their name.
10-24-2003, 11:53 AM
Can we please get off of this argument over legal analysis and over any argument that Mission is being childish or anything of the sort. Simply put, does anyone have any information about this?
10-24-2003, 12:17 PM
pardon me, trademark.
and you can not infinge on a trademark, correct?
wrong choice of words, 'patent' wasn't exactly what i was looking for.... my bad.
10-24-2003, 12:18 PM
see below post-
(trademark, not patent, my bad)
10-24-2003, 12:19 PM
well obviously not yet, if nobody has mentioned anything about it.
10-24-2003, 12:52 PM
You CAN infringe a trademark. Here's an example. If I own the name "Coca Cola" and Joe Smo from Kalamazoo decides to open up a soft drink company and call one of his soft drinks "Coca Cola" or "Coke" he is infringing my trademark. I have the ability to get an injunction to stop him from doing so in the future and I can also get damages which are calculated depending on any profits he made by selling the soft drinks under my trademark.
So, if Tour had called their Chasis "Hi-Lo" they would probably be open to a trademark suit. And if Tour had stolen the Hi-Lo design they would be open to a patent infringement suit. If they had done both they would be open to suits under both federal statutes (trademark and patent).
10-24-2003, 02:13 PM
thanks for the clarification........ didn't think 'patent' was exactly what i was lookign for......
I seem to remember there was a patent issue years ago regarding the HiLo wheel configuration. I think the original HiLo chassis was made by Mike Rike-he made Rike frames (not a typo-It predated Nike in the skate business). I was at the trade show he introduced the concept. It was that frame that had hard steel flat sides-bolted to the mounting plates.
Labeba was the first to have a widely available HiLo, followed closely by SureGrip, Kuzak, Motor, etc.
10-28-2003, 05:30 PM
Because you can't sure for patent infringement unless you own the patent, and it hasn't expired. CCM can't sue bauer for using steel blades, because CCM didn't make the first hockey skates with steel blades, they were just one of the companies who first made them widely available. The same for hockey sticks. Just because someone was the first to mass produce them, doesn't make them able to patent the product. The intellectual property behind designing it was not their own.
JMU Roller Hockey
10-28-2003, 10:36 PM
I was just making a point about how stupid it is!
10-29-2003, 07:46 AM
I guess I just don't understand how protecting ones legal rights is stupid.
Well it's not unless it turns out to be a frivolous suit....which could have been avoided by better primary research. I repeat what I said in another post on this subject.......not always but too many times these suits are the result of someone's coporate ego getting bent out of shape.
I have seen at least three like that that cost the plaintiff a fortune to pursue and then actually stimulated a successfull countersuit for lost business. This where an injunction had been granted for the plaintiff against the defendant preventing him from building or selling a particular design, and which injunction later turned out to be invalid. The original ruling was lost on appeal when new evidence surfaced, and then the original defendant pursued the original plaintiff for lost business and willfull damages.
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