On December 20, 2011 Duxbury, Massachusetts based helmet manufacturer Bern Unlimited, Inc. filed patent infringement lawsuits against Burton Snowboards, Vans, and Salomon parent company Amer Sports, according to documents filed with the United States District Court District of Massachusetts.

The suits claim that all three companies continue to manufacture products that infringe patent (US D572,865 S) for a helmet with a small brim. The helmets Bern claims are infringing include the Red Mutiny, the Vans Pro-Tec Riot and the Salomon Ghost and Brigade Audio. In their “Prayer For Relief” Bern lawyers from the Boston, Massachusetts firm Birnbaum & Godkin are requesting that Burton, Vans, and Amer Sports enjoin from further infringement and that Bern Unlimited, Inc. be awarded “damages in an amount to be proven at trial” and “multiple damages, costs and attorneys fees.” The patent, awarded to Jonathan Baker of Thornton, New Hampshire on July 8, 2008, shows a helmet that looks much like a batting helmet with no ear covers and a shorter brim. It will be interesting to see if lawsuits based on helmet brim length do in court. The suit against Burton is exactly the same as those against Vans, and Amer Sports with the exception of the names of the infringing helmets.

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