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Leatt sues Atlas for Patent Infringement

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Saw this today. I find it a bit sad that it is a safety product that will be eliminated and a possible monopoly created some time in the future. Also Atlas have said they would publish their test data, so perhaps that's the real reason or doing this.

http://www.leatt-corp.com/stat_press47.htm

Any patent attorneys on this forum to give some input here as to whether Atlas has a chance to success. I am sure they have done their homework before they spent money on producing their product.

Here are the patents they were granted but look extremely similar:

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=7993293.PN.&OS=PN/7993293&RS=PN/7993293

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=8002723.PN.&OS=PN/8002723&RS=PN/8002723

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When you invent a new product and get it patented, you'll be singing a different tune when people start ripping off your idea.

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They all will be singing a different tune once they actually start testing and rating these darn things. They are all likely to fail.

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In the last 2 weeks, there have been two Supercross racers sustain broken necks and neither were wearing necks braces.

Tyla Rattray broke his neck at Anaheim 2 and Ryan Morais sustained 3 broken cervical vertebrae after he landed on Trey Canard. Fortunately, Canard was wearing a Leatt brace when Morais landed on him and Trey survived this crash with no neck injury.

s1600_TC_RM_Crash.jpg?1327290289

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That is terralbe for those guys and I just wish them all a fast revocery.

I also wish the neck braces had a testing an industry standard system in place. They don't and that just isn't right. They may be a good device and may have even protected Tyla and Ryan. But without any proof what so ever, it's still just my word against yours and neither of us has a single shred of evidence to prove our point.

It is time for the neck brace manufactures to step and a create a stardard with proven test results. Then it will be easy to move to a neck brace as a mandatory piece of gear.

Until then they are still a necklace nothing more.

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The SFI is currently working with Leatt to develop a standardized testing protocol.

"To address the lack of a standard for unrestrained torso neck protection devices, Leatt partnered with the SFI Foundation a standards body in the USA to develop SFI Standard 57.1 [on-going]. The tests in this standard are derived from the testing requirements of SFI 38.1 a specification that covers Head and Neck Restraint Systems used by drivers a of racing cars and includes the Leatt Moto-R and the HANS device."

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The SFI is currently working with Leatt to develop a standardized testing protocol. "To address the lack of a standard for unrestrained torso neck protection devices, Leatt partnered with the SFI Foundation a standards body in the USA to develop SFI Standard 57.1 [on-going]. The tests in this standard are derived from the testing requirements of SFI 38.1 a specification that covers Head and Neck Restraint Systems used by drivers a of racing cars and includes the Leatt Moto-R and the HANS device."

That is some excellent news, great find Cam!

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When you invent a new product and get it patented, you'll be singing a different tune when people start ripping off your idea.

Ok I agree with this.... BUT the real question that still has to be answered looms and makes me wonder about Leatt as a company now.

My point. If Leatt does go forward with the lawsuit Vs ATLAS ... than why the the hell has LEATT not sued Alpinestar as that brace is almost exactly the same!? If you look at them side by side they are sooo close. Is it because the ATLAS is something new and actually seems to address some the issues people have brought up about them?

Leatt must have some agreement with A-star or they make it for them... or it could be like it is always is in business (Small Company Vs Big Company) A-stars is such a larger Firm, Leatt would have gotten torn up in attorneys fees which A-star could afford (so to speak)

Of the 3 direct comp to a Leatt Brace... the ATLAS is the most different actually when you try it on and test them all. I just did this at Fay Meyers in Denver, and the ATLAS actually made more sense to me honestly with what it offered compared to the the others. Trying them all on for fit and function I will say that the Leatt and Atlas are the best, but they very different how they go on/off and features. Yes the intent is the same but again so is the A-star kneck brace and EVS.

Edited by Bkew

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What I find more interesting now reading the pattens.... yes I am a geeky engineer in RL.

"A neck brace (10) is disclosed which comprises two sections (12, 14) which are releasably connected to one another along a split line (18). The ring has upwardly facing surfaces (30, 76.1, 20.2) which limit tilting movement of a helmeted head in all directions. The brace further has a column (68, 70) which extends downwardly from the ring for transferring loads to the wearer's back on each side of the spine."

Ummm sorry but having tried one recently and having read all the medical about the LEATT. Ie: Shoulder, Collar Bone, Spine, etc. The one item I read alot about was placing a single bar down the spine...that it does not transfer loads the wearer's back on each side of the spine. Yet now they file a new patten 6 months ago saying it does?

I find that interesting....ATLAS openly states they designed seperate bars on the back portion to make sure it is not on the spine to transfer load to each side of the spine.

EDIT:

So that link had financial reports for last year for Leatt since they are publically traded. Saddly like most aftermarket type companies they lost money. Leatt did do some correct moves it looked like on the balance sheets. Key one comparing 09'-10'-2011 by reducing operation cost by almost 15%, but in the in the end they lost about $250-350K last in 2011. It was not EURO dollars as they had a line item for currency exchange. I like leatt so I hope it goes well for them, they did something well for the sport, but attacking another firm trying to do something that is good for the sport also just shows how "money" can change things.

Edited by Bkew

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The leatt back/spine plate is designed to break off in a crash. In most cases it does if you crash hard enough as the holder for it is just plastic. The reason why a lot of people don't talk about it breaking off is because the cover for the brace holds it in place. So you might not even know its broken until you mount it again. The Atlas brace back mounting system is identical to the Leatt street/roadrace brace. Which by the way, works fine in motocross as well, so they DO make something that doesn't have that spine plate.

From what I can tell, the Atlas brace doesn't infringe on the Leatt patent outside of the location of the back support. The Atlas brace is very much similar to the alpinestars brace in concept.

The Atlas people don't claim to be doctor's, they don't claim to have any scientific background. They just saw an opening for a cheaper brace that was "different" and went for it. Personally, I think anyone getting into the neck brace market is stupid. They are a lawsuit waiting to happen and there is such a wide variety of braces on the market from the Leatt to the Omega, why would anyone make another one? Most people wear the Leatt or Alpinestar's brace, those are the two most popular by far.

My point. If Leatt does go forward with the lawsuit Vs ATLAS ... than why the the hell has LEATT not sued Alpinestar as that brace is almost exactly the same!?

The Leatt is a hard plastic brace that is designed to absorb impact and then crack, if the stress gets too much.

The Alpinestars brace uses a piece of foam very similar to helmet foam, sandwiched between two pieces of plastic. Under impact, the foam compresses and absorbs, but doesn't damage the brace. Alpinestars walked around Leatt's patent by using an entirely different back mounting system and that stupid, useless center entry system. Leatt uses a two piece (front/rear) assembly with side latches and a single or double thoracic plate. In my view, the Alpinestars brace is EXTREMELY different then the Leatt and much less versatile. The Leatt, when setup properly, can protect much better because the table height is adjustable (another patent) and you can keep the brace close to your helmet. The Alpinestars brace seems to be too damn low to do any effective protecting in my view.

Edited by tye1138

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