Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ:COLM) and its Italian-based subsidiary OutDry Technologies welcomed an April 29 ruling of the Court of Milan, Italy, granting a preliminary injunction against defendants Geox S.p.A., Geox s.r.l., and Nibar S.r.l., in connection with the sale of certain “Amphibiox” branded shoes in Italy. The court, after determining that some Amphibiox shoes likely infringed an OutDry patent used to create waterproof-breathable footwear, authorized the seizure of certain Amphibiox products and issued an injunction to prevent further sale of the offending footwear. The interim decision is subject to appeal.
“We are very pleased with the ruling by the Court of Milan, and look forward to the next stage of the proceedings,” said Peter Bragdon, Senior Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs for Columbia and OutDry. “We believe strongly that OutDry technology provides superior performance in waterproof-breathable footwear, and the OutDry patent portfolio is critical to the protection and advancement of our innovative technology. We will continue to pursue infringing products aggressively.”
Since its founding near Milan in 1998, OutDry, which is pursuing a similar infringement action against Geox in Germany, has established itself as a technology leader for producing waterproof, breathable footwear and gloves. OutDry’s patented and patent-pending construction methods bond a waterproof, breathable membrane directly to the inside of the outermost layer of a shoe or glove , thereby preventing water or dirt from penetrating to internal airspaces and fabric layers as commonly occurs with products that rely on bulky booties or bladders. OutDry improves waterproof, breathable performance, reduces water-weight gain, maintains insulation capacity, and improves fit and dexterity, resulting in greater comfort. Avoiding water penetration beyond the outermost layer may also help reduce the incidence of mold, mildew and bacteria that often develop when internal fabric layers become wet. The company is based in the North of Italy with an operations branch in China. For more information, visit: http://www.outdry.com.
About Columbia SportswearColumbia Sportswear Company is a leading innovator in the global outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment industry. Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia products are sold in approximately 100 countries and have earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance. Columbia products feature innovative technologies and designs that protect outdoor enthusiasts from the elements, increase comfort, and make outdoor activities more enjoyable. In addition to the Columbia® brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns the outdoor brands Mountain Hardwear®, Sorel®, Montrail® and OutDry®. To learn more, please visit the company’s websites at www.columbia.com, www.mountainhardwear.com, www.sorel.com, www.montrail.com and www.outdry.com.