The Prolink Court Case

by Magnus Johansson

Yesterday was the expiring date for Rottefella AS to pay Amer Sports’ costs for the court case against Amer Sports regarding the Prolink binding system. That is what happens when you sue someone and lose in court. Amer Sports with its companies Salomon and Atomic were found not guilty on all five charges brought by Rottefella.

None of the charges were about the binding technology itself, because that technology is now in the public domain and free for anyone to use. What Rottefella charged Amer Sports with were instead the alleged violation of two Norwegian patents regarding a ski boot sole construction, one protected ski boot sole design, a marketing law and the illegal use of the protected trademark NNN. The patents were found invalid by the court and regarding the other charges the court could not see any violations.

The verdict was almost like a disaster for Rottefella. Not only does it have to pay circa 2 million NOK to Amer Sports and probably at least 1 million NOK to its own laywers, but it got two patents declared invalid and attracted considerable badwill for the whole action. Why didn’t Rottefella instead welcome Amer Sports, Salomon and Atomic to NNN and use the step of its competitors to further expand the use of NNN and NIS?