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Polaroid sues GoPro for copying a design patent

C&A Marketing Inc., the company that produces the Polaroid Cube, has filed a lawsuit against GoPro for releasing the Hero4 Session camera. On what grounds? Well, the two cameras look almost identical. Both are shaped like a cube with rounded edges, and even though the Session is able to shoot better quality video and is slightly larger than the 1.4-cubic-inch Cube, C&A is insisting that GoPro has infringed on the design patent that it received in May this year, preventing any other camera from copying the Cube's unique look. GoPro had filed a patent related to its square camera's design in March, but that specifically covered the camera's housing.

The wording of the design patent is vague and short. It says: "The ornamental design for a cubic action camera, as shown and described" and is accompanied by seven pictures of the Cube. That's it. Twelve ambiguous words that a jury will now have to decipher and decide whether GoPro did in fact breach the clause. This is just one of the issues the company is facing after the release of the Hero4 Session camera as sales have not met expectations forcing GoPro to slash the price from $400 to $300, hoping that will shift units. A price reduction might be effective but a more portable design shape may have worked, too.

[Image credit: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press]