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Malibu files patent suit against MasterCraft

By Jonathan Sweet

Malibu Boats has filed a lawsuit for patent infringement against MasterCraft Boat Company

The complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, alleges that MasterCraft's Gen 2 Surf System and NXT Surf System violate Malibu's U.S. Patent No. 8,578,873.

According to the complaint:

Seeking to regain market share that Malibu has gained and defended through its SURF GATE® technology, MasterCraft introduced its Gen 2 Surf System and the NXT Surf System, both of which infringe Malibu’s intellectual property. These infringing systems have been and continue to be installed by MasterCraft on thousands of boats, which MasterCraft, through its affiliated dealers, have sold and continue to sell to consumers in the inboard sport boat industry. Malibu is entitled to millions of dollars in compensation for MasterCraft’s infringement and to an injunction precluding MasterCraft from selling boats or features that infringe Malibu’s valuable intellectual property.

"We are proud of Malibu's revolutionary Surf Gate technology," said Jack Springer, CEO of Malibu. "We intend to vigorously protect it."

A MasterCraft spokesperson said the company had no comment on the suit. (UPDATE: MasterCraft responds to Malibu suit.)

In February, Malibu settled a suit it had brought against Nautique Boat Company, alleging similar patent infringement. While full terms were undisclosed, as part of the settlement, Nautique entered a licensing agreement related to certain Malibu’s patents, as well as making payment for past use of Malibu’s patent portfolio relating to wakesurfing technologies.

Click here to read the full complaint.

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