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The names Adidas and Under Armour are more than likely familiar to most people here in Texas. Until recently, the two companies were involved in patent law litigation. However, the parties were able to settle their differences without spending any more time or money litigating the matter.

When Under Armour acquired MapMyFitness in 2014, it most likely did not realize that Adidas would file a lawsuit against both companies alleging patent infringement. Under Armour contended that there was no active patent to infringe upon. As a result, the active wear manufacturer asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to make a determination regarding whether the technology in question was subject to patentability, which concerns whether patent protection is available to certain subject matter.

Without reporting the results of that inquiry, the parties recently announced that they reached a settlement. The details of the settlement were not made public except to say that the parties entered into a licensing agreement for the patented material. The licensing fee is to remain confidential. The lawsuit filed by Adidas AG was dismissed with prejudice, which means that it cannot be re-filed on the same grounds.

It appears that the petition filed by Under Armour with the USPTO yielded results significant enough for a settlement to become possible. Texas companies that are unsure whether the subject matter of the lawsuit is even eligible to be covered under patent law may want to consult with an experienced patent law attorney to discuss any questions they may have. Depending on the answers, the parties can decide whether continuing with the litigation or settling will best serve their interests.

Source: footwearnews.com, "Adidas & Under Armour Reach Settlement In Patent Infringement Suit", Sheena Butler-Young, May 12, 2016

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