Amphibious boatbuilder wins appeal in copyright infringement case

Publish date:
Sealegs amphibious boat

Sealegs amphibious boat

The Court of Appeals in New Zealand reversed a lower court decision that a competitor of an established amphibious boatbuilder had to stop building competitive boats, according to the New Zealand Herald. In July 2018, the High Court in New Zealand ruled that startup Orion Marine had to cease competing with Sealegs, which had built a global reputation for its amphibious boats. Sealegs was established in 2000.

The court ruled that former Sealegs employees, who had started Orion, had breached copyright design. The defendants, Darren Leybourne, Smuggler Marine Limited, Yun Zhang and David Pringle, were also ordered to pay court costs and damage to Sealegs.

Orion, which launched in 2012 to compete with Sealegs, appealed the decision. Following yesterday’s announcement, Orion said it would start building amphibious boats again.

"The court's decision has supported our view that Orion's amphibious technology is different to anything else currently available, and this is what the case was all about," Orion said in a statement. "With this now settled, we will be contacting the long list of people both in New Zealand and overseas who have been waiting for up to three years to put in their order for an amphibious Smuggler boat with an Orion system. We will return to building amphibious boats immediately.”

Future Mobility Solutions, which owns Sealegs, said it would appeal to the country’s Supreme Court.


Tommy’s Slalom Shop Adds Dealer

Boulder Boats has locations in Nevada, Arizona and California.

Trade Only Today Returns Tuesday

The daily e-newsletter will not publish Monday, Jan. 18, in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

Mercury and Crownline Make Supply Pact

Under the agreement, Mercury will be the exclusive outboard and sterndrive supplier for the boatbuilder.

Sea Tow Makes Executive Appointment

Thomas Spina, who has more than 25 years of maritime experience in a variety of roles, was named vice president of franchise operations.

Quick Hits: January 15, 2021

IBEX seeks proposals for session topics; Sensible Yacht Cordage changes hands

Godfrey Marine to Host Virtual Showcase

The event is to take place Jan. 23 and will include Godfrey pontoons and Hurricane deckboats.

Boat Shows Throttling Up

2021 is bringing a new paradigm to the winter boat show season.

Correct Craft Plans Expansions

The moves will allow additional growth for Nautique, Supreme, Ingenity and Watershed Innovation.