“Dang if you do, Dang if you don’t,’ reads the tagline on the Instagram account of Dang Shades, an affordable eyewear and goggle company created by and currently owned and operated by pro snowboarder, Chris Beresford.
Back in 2006, Beresford came up with the name for his company while at High Cascade Snowboard Camp. He then took a mold he found from a sunglass factory in Taiwan and used it to create Dang Shades, which currently features three different models that come in an abundance of color-ways. The small operation is now based in Salt Lake City, Utah, where Beresford employs one person, part-time.
Until recently, Dang offered two other models, the SH80 and the Sleeper, but they were pulled from the Dang line after Oakley filed a complaint against Dang on January 22, citing patent infringement for these models.
“I grew up on Oakley!” said, Chris Beresford when we contacted him about the suit. “I even used to ride for the [Oakley] New England Rep, Mark Wakeling, in the mid-2000s. I just wish they sent me an email or a phone call. I started out of a shoe box up at High Cascade and now it’s this. I’ve never thought about patents. I had assumed if I’m using a pre-made mold that I was in the clear. You live you learn and I lost a ton of money for a complete accident!”
Now Beresford must ship all of these frames to Oakley.
We reached out to several people at Oakley for comment, but were told by all that they weren’t allowed to give any statements regarding on-going cases.
According to excerpts of the lawsuit posted on protectingdesign.com Oakley asserts design patent infringement, trade dress infringement, federal and state unfair competition, and federal false designation of origin in association with its Razor Blades Trade Dress, and cites Dang’s SH80 and Sleeper sunglasses as the offending models.
In terms of restitution, the suit asserts:
Oakley seeks a finding of willful infringement, a preliminary and permanent injunction enjoining Dang Shades from directly or indirectly infringing U.S. D692,047, payment by Dang Shades of all damages suffered by Oakley and/or Dang Shades' total profit from infringement, an order for treble damages and/or exemplary damages, an order adjudging the case as an exceptional case, an award of attorney fees, expenses and costs, and an award of pre-judgment and post-judgment interest and costs, as well as remedies specific to trade dress and unfair competition and false designation of origin.
Beresford says he is hoping to settle the case soon, but he’s not sure how or when things will end.
Dang. Here’s to hoping it works out favorably for all parties.
Photos courtesy of Dang Shades