As if the football helmet business didn’t have enough challenges in making money and keeping players safe, a jury recently awarded a major win to Riddell over rival Schutt Sports for patent infringement. The jury in the Northern District of Illinois awarded a $5 million judgment to Riddell against Schutt, its chief competitor, for willful infringement of two Riddell football helmet patents.
Schutt had argued that one of Riddell’s patents was not infringed, and that both of Riddell’s patents were invalid. The jury, however, found both patents valid and willfully infringed by Schutt’s Vengeance line of helmets.
“Riddell is appreciative that the jury recognized Riddell’s head protection leadership and that our innovations were improperly infringed by Schutt,” said Riddell president and CEO Dan Arment.
He then rubbed it in a bit. “Innovation at its very core means developing something new — not knowingly copying the competition and touting that imitation as new and innovative,” Arment said in a statement. “Riddell has demonstrated a track record of systematically and successfully defending its patent portfolio of helmet and protective equipment technologies and will continue to protect our intellectual property investments.”
This marks the second time in the last 10 years that a jury has found Schutt to infringe Riddell’s intellectual property.