Orange County – C&A Marketing brought a lawsuit against GoPro for infringing its patent for cube-shaped cameras. C&A Marketing claims that GoPro’s camera, known as the Hero4 Session, violates the patent it received for camera called the Polaroid Cube.
C&A Marketing, not Polaroid, brought forth the case because it created and manufactures the product. Polaroid is involved because C&A Marketing and Polaroid have exclusive manufacturing and marketing deals together.
The patent that C&A holds is broad, stating it applies to “the ornamental design for a cubic action camera, as shown and described” with reference to seven illustrations. C&A applied for the design patent a day before GoPro did for its camera, and C&A was awarded the patent in May of 2015.
C&A filed the case in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey, and requested that the court stop sales of the Hero4 Session and that GoPro be forced to turn over all profits from the camera in addition to paying attorney’s fees.
GoPro argus that they began work on the camera long before C&A filed for its patent. GoPro also argues that it holds the design patent in the EU, which give GoPro further rights. GoPro applied for the U.S. patent only one day after C&A filed its patent.
The Hero4 holds significance to GoPro beyond this case. The camera is the first departure from the iconic GoPro camera design, and was an attempt to convince skeptical investors it can successfully expand its product line and offerings at an even higher price level. The ability to persuade investors is becoming increasingly important for GoPro, given its shares decreased more than 60% since the beginning of 2015. After the lawsuit was announced, GoPro shares decreased another 2%.
The lawsuit may create precedent that could affect other companies that sell cube shaped products. Companies such as Fuhu, Inc., also sell cube-shaped cameras, while Canon is also planning to release a cube-shaped camera in December of this year. If the court sides with C&A marketing based on these claims, these other camera companies could be the target for future lawsuits.