Sierra Designs, the U.S. producer of camping gear, has announced victory in a dispute in Germany over the intellectual property of its Backcountry Bed, a zipperless sleeping bag that allows campers to sleep on their back, their side or their stomach.
The legal victory should help the company to win over new clients in Germany, where its Dutch-based European distributor, Bemontex, has hired a new agent for the country, Marcus Bauer, as well as in the rest of Europe. Bemontex is looking for new agents also in the U.K., Italy, Spain and Belgium.
Sierra had filed a lawsuit in Munich's state court in 2017 against another unnamed outdoor company, charging that it had violated its German and European patent rights. The two parties have finally reached an out-of-court settlement. According to a spokesman, the terms of the settlement forbid Sierra Designs from disclosing the name of the party accused of patent infringement.
Founded in California in 1965 and currently based in Boulder, Colorado, Sierra Designs is part of the Exxel Outdoors group, which also owns the Kelty and Wenzel brands, since 2015. Bemontex' Outdoor Tycoons division has represented all these brands for the past three years. It also markets its own line of outdoor apparel, Life-Line.
Sierra Designs' biggest client in Europe is Bever, the Dutch outdoor retail chain owned by the AS Adventure group. The AS Adventure chain in Belgium will start to carry the brand this year. The brand is now targeting also small camping shops in the alpine countries.