The off-road rivalry between Minnesota-based ATV and Side-by-Side manufacturers Polaris and Arctic Cat is heating up. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune Polaris is suing Arctic Cat for allegedly violation a patent (#8,596,405).

That particular patent covers a lot of ground, so we’re not entirely sure exactly what part of the patent Polaris believes Arctic Cat violated. You can see the patent for yourself here. However, one of the many details on this patent is the vehicle width. Here’s an excerpt: “It may be appreciated that width C may be defined by both the outer surfaces of tires and fenders of front panel, should the respective dimensions be substantially equal. In the illustrative embodiment, width is about 50 inches. In other embodiments, ATV may be constructed to other suitable widths, however the present invention contemplates ATVs having a trail compliant width or less than about 54 inches.”

Patent law is far from our area of expertise, but could Polaris be targeting the new Wildcat Trail in particular with this lawsuit? It is the first competitive Sport UTV to feature a trail-legal 50-inch width – a class long owned by the Polaris RZR 800.

According to the official complaint, Arctic Cat “has manufactured, used, sold, and/or offered for sale side- by-side all-terrain vehicles, and still is, including Wildcat side-by-side vehicles, which infringe the ‘405 patent.”

Court documents indicate that Polaris filed patent applications for its Side-by-Sides in 2006 with an update in 2010. The U.S. patent office officially approved the patent on December 3, 2013.

Polaris is asking the court that Arctic Cat stop infringing on the patent, pay damages to Polaris and pay all costs and attorney fees for this legal action.



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  • John

    I sure hope this lawsuit gets shot down. How can Polaris limit other manufacturers from making a 50″ wide SXS. You can’t patent something as basic as the size of a side by side. This lawsuit tends to make me dislike Polaris even more. Consumers need more units to choose from . I want an American made trail legal reliable side by side. And I’m waiting for Yamaha or Honda to offer one. 

    • Lucas Cooney

      We don’t know for certain what Polaris is accusing Arctic Cat of. Hopefully more information will soon come to light so we can find out.

  • BBlitz

    Doesn’t matter what Polaris is accusing them of, there’s no merit to it.  If you read the entire patent, it never should have been granted to begin with and won’t hold up in court.  Not a single element is novel or non-obvious.  Polaris is just upset that there’s a new kid on the block with a nicer toy.  GROW UP Polaris…all you’re doing is alienating potential customers and “polarizing” the sideXside community.

  • Michael Guest

    I have two Polaris Machines, a 2011 Ranger xp 800 and a 2013 RZR Jagged X.  I am a Polaris Fan and user, a happy one, at that.  That being said, this is the dumbest lawsuit ever.  If this is at it appears, Polaris is suing over the 50 inch width, set by the US forest service for atv trails.  Any manufacturer should be able to build to this standard.  Something else must be happening here, or the cold in the north central US has frozen some white matter between the ears!


    go get em polaris!!!!!! whoo hooo

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