While the bow and arrow have been around since prehistoric times, but that doesn’t mean the technology has stopped evolving. A recent, complex lawsuit spotlights a patent for highly advanced sighting device for bows.
The technology was patented by Wisconsin Archery Products LLC, which claims the device helps bow hunters correct for environmental conditions such as wind and distance to target. It partnered with manufacturer Burris Co., which brought the product to market in 2018 under the name Oracle Rangefinding Bow Sight, and paid royalties to Wisconsin Archery.
According to Wisconsin Archery’s recent complaint, the licensing agreement between the two companies required Burris to defend the patent against possible infringement by third parties, and so Burris filed suit against Garmin International, Inc., on 2018. But according to Wisconsin Archery, Garmin later backed out of the action. Wisconsin Archery took up the lawsuit on its own and terminated its license agreement with Burris.
Now, Wisconsin Archery claims that Burris continues to market bow sights that use its patented technology without a license. In July, Wisconsin Archery filed a suit against Burris, claiming patent infringement and breach of contract. Burris said it would respond.
Licensing of patented inventions is absolutely necessary for most small businesses and inventors. A large company may be able to both develop new technology and bring it to market, but most companies need to work with a partner.
Unfortunately, licensing is a complex business and a lot can go wrong after the ink is dry on the agreement. As a result, licensing disputes are behind many, if not most, patent litigation. Whether a company is the licensor or licensee, it is absolutely critical to have help from skilled patent attorneys when disputes arise.