Michigan optics manufacturer Trijicon, Inc. has just filed suit against California based Holosun Technologies, Inc. The docket that was filed on July, 7th 2020 indicates that Trijicon is attempting to bring legal action against Hollosun over alleged patent infringement on Trijicon’s ‘541 Patent titled “Optical Sight.”
Trijicon Sues Holosun Technologies Over Alleged RMR & SRO Patent Infringement
The suit is specifically pointed at two of Trijicon’s optics and the alleged violation of Holosun in producing optics that violate Trijicon’s patent. The Trijicon Ruggedized Miniature Reflex (RMR), which is a popular red dot optic usually found on pistols is referenced in the docket along with the newer Trijicon Specialized Reflex Optic (SRO) as being examples of how the Holosun Optics are infringing upon the patent.
In Trijicon’s argument, they list the HS407K, HS407C-V2, HE407C-GR V2, HS407CO V2, HS507K, HS507C V2, HE507C-GR V2, HE508T-RD V2 and HE508T-GR V2 red dot optics of being the “accused products” that violate the patent. This filing of a suit is not completely out of the blue. On January 15, 2020, Trijicon notified Holosun in writing that the products mentioned above were infringing on Tricjion’s ‘ 541 Patent. Trijicon further notified Holosun of the same perceived infringements again on February 12th, and finally again on February 21st.
I consulted with our resident attorney, James Reeves, on what the financial impact could be to Holosun if Trijicon were to prevail. According to James, an alleged infringing party could be liable to pay damages in excess of just lost sales or actual sales. He opined:
Under 35 U.S.C. § 284, a plaintiff – here, Trijicon – would be entitled to “not less than a reasonable royalty” as damages. In other words, if there were a patent violation, at a minimum, a plaintiff would be entitled to a hypothetical (as determined by the court or a jury) “royalty” for every unit sold. Alternatively, if a plaintiff can prove lost profits, then that plaintiff would be able to recover those. So, again, in the pure hypothetical, if Trijicon could show that it makes, say, $100 a unit, and Holosun made $30 a unit, it might be a more attractive (albeit unlikely) measure of damages for Trijicon to show that every sale of a Holosun unit equated to the loss of a sale of a Trijicon unit. Price erosion (i.e., Trijicon having to lower its price to compete with Holosun) is another potential measure of lost profits.
There’s also a potential for punitives. Under the same statute, 35 U.S.C. § 284, courts “may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed.” Courts have discretion whether to award enhanced damages and reserve such measures for “egregious cases of misconduct,” such as willful infringement.
For now, the pieces are set for both parties and we must await the results of the trial. Trijicon has requested a jury decision for this particular suit and it is currently unknown when a verdict will be made. In any case, there is a lot on the line in this one, and decision, either way, is sure to make waves across the firearms community as a whole.