Helmet safety specialist MIPS has issued a release stating that it has investigated Swedish helmet brand POC’s SPIN technology for ‘potential infringement on patented MIPS technology’. MIPS adds that it is now taking action to legally defend its proprietary knowledge and intellectual property.
MIPS has been granted an ex parte preliminary injunction in Germany to restrain infringement of MIPS’ patent EP (DE) 2 440 082 by POC Sweden AB through its sales in Germany of products incorporating the Shearing Pad INside, or SPIN rotational impact protection system.
The order was granted by the court ex parte. This means that there was no hearing, POC was not given the opportunity to make submissions and there were no detailed arguments relating to infringement and validity. MIPS is in the process of executing the order against POC. POC is permitted to appeal against the order.
POC is currently a customer to MIPS, and is listed as a brand partner on the MIPS website, but it reportedly represents a minor portion (less than 1% of net sales) of MIPS’ total sales. MIPS adds that it is obliged to disclose in accordance with the EU’s Market Abuse Regulation.
MIPS is a world-leader in helmet-based safety and the protection of the human brain. Based on an ‘ingredient brand business-model’, MIPS Brain Protection System (BPS) is sold to the global helmet industry. The BPS solution, which is patented in all relevant markets, is based on 20 years of research and development together with the Royal Institute of Technology and the Karolinska Institute, both located in Stockholm, Sweden.
MIPS headquarters, with 25 employees engaged in research and development, sales and administration, is in Stockholm, where its product and technology test facility is also located. Production and manufacturing operations take place at sub-contractor facilities.
On a rolling 12-month basis, Oct 2016 to Sep 2017, MIPS net sales amounted to SEK 116.5 million (US$13.9 million), with an adjusted EBIT-margin of 23.1%. Since its March 2017 IPO, MIPS has been traded on the Nasdaq Stockholm stock exchange.
In 2015, POC the Swedish manufacturer of cycling helmets, apparel and accessories, was acquired by Bahrain based Investcorp, which manages a range of alternative investment products for private and institutional clients. The acquisition of POC from the helmet specialist’s parent entity, Black Diamond, has been reportedly valued at US$65 million.
POC’s SPIN is a new patent pending helmet technology created to counter the effects of oblique impacts.