MasterCraft and Malibu Boats settle patent lawsuit

MasterCraft Boat Co. and Malibu Boats reached a settlement in a patent-infringement lawsuit.
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Malibu Boats sued MasterCraft Boat Co. in 2015, alleging that MasterCraft infringed on Malibu’s wakesurfing technology patent.

Malibu Boats sued MasterCraft Boat Co. in 2015, alleging that MasterCraft infringed on Malibu’s wakesurfing technology patent.

MasterCraft Boat Co. and Malibu Boats reached a settlement in a patent-infringement lawsuit that Malibu brought in connection with its wakesurfing technology.

MasterCraft will make a one-time payment to Malibu and will enter into a license agreement for the payment of future royalties for boats MasterCraft sells that use the licensed technology, both companies said Tuesday in separate statements.

Malibu Boats filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee in June 2015, alleging that MasterCraft had infringed on Malibu’s patent with its Gen 2 Surf System and the NXT Surf System.

Malibu CEO Jack Springer said he was pleased to conclude the litigation between “two industry-leading companies.”

"While both companies were steadfast in their position, we are satisfied that we have reached a reasonable outcome,” Springer said in a statement. “This is a positive development for us and allows Malibu to focus on continuing growth and improvement. As we continue to innovate and to build our valuable patent portfolio, we will continue to be aggressively focused on ensuring that industry participants recognize the value of our innovation and subsequent patents."

The resolution of the litigation includes a full release of all claims and counterclaims by the companies, MasterCraft said.

MasterCraft has steadfastly denied that the wakesurf technology in its MasterCraft Gen 2 and NXT Surf Systems infringe any claims of Malibu’s patents, “but the continuing burden and expense of litigation made settlement the economically prudent move,” the company said.

“We are pleased to have this dispute behind us and look forward to building on MasterCraft’s legacy of award-winning products,” MasterCraft CEO Terry McNew said in a statement.

“While we felt strongly about our position in this dispute, we know there is significant cost and uncertainty associated with the judicial process, and as a result, we view this settlement as a positive outcome for MasterCraft,” McNew said. “We are satisfied that the terms of the settlement are reasonable for both MasterCraft and Malibu, and we look forward to MasterCraft’s continued role in advancing our market segment for the benefit of both MasterCraft and the entire industry.”

In February 2015, Malibu settled a patent lawsuit with Nautique Boat Co. As part of that settlement, Nautique agreed to pay for past use and for a royalty-bearing license for future use of Malibu’s wakesurfing technology.

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