Polaris Alleges IP Violation in Lawsuit Against Timbersled Founder

By Will Burgess

Timbersled, a subsidiary of Polaris Industries that produces snowbike conversion kits, has filed a lawsuit against its founder, Allen Mangum, for violating the company’s intellectual property.

Mangum founded Timbersled Products Inc. a snowmobile component company in 2001. In the late 2000s, Mangum rode his first snowbike which sparked an interest in producing conversion kits of his own with his wife Natasha Mangum at his facility in Ponderay, Idaho.

At the time the barely two decade old snowbike industry was steadily growing through specialty kits as Timbersled entered the market in 2010 and began manufacturing quick change kits interchangeable with enduro and motocross models from most major dirt bike brands.

This video from 2007, shot with a potato, showcases the budding sport of powered snowbiking prior to Timbersled’s market entrance where motorcycles were built converted or required specialty kits.

With the claim that it only took thirty minutes to an hour to swap the track and skis using the existing swingarm and suspension, Timbersled started catching the attention of the hardcore snowbiker crowd.
In 2015, Polaris bought the Timbersled company, and kept Mangum on to continue consulting for the brand.

Mangum left the company in 2020 and by late summer of 2022 began promoting a new brand of snowbike kits via the launch of his new Mtn.Top Snowbike brand.

A screengrab of the Mtn.Top website features the XFR-129 which retails for $9,500, and will be sold at a network of dealers across the country. | Source: mtntopsnowbike.com

Polaris contends Mangum and the Mtn.Top Snowbike brand has infringed on their intellectual property and technology when they filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court this month.

Although Timbersled makes up a relatively small share of the global recreational vehicle company’s revenues, according to a quote obtained by the Minnesota Star Tribune, an unidentifiedย spokesperson with Polaris called the lawsuit a “…necessary step to protect Polaris’s intellectual property and investment in innovation.”

Mangum introduced the Mtn.Top Snowbike conversion kits in a video on Sept. 3, 2022, appearing to demonstrate that the products are handcrafted and assembled by Mangum himself.

As a condition of Polaris’s purchase of Timbersled, Mangum has been bound to a non-disclosure agreement which prevents him from using confidential trade secrets and research and development from Timbersled or Polaris in any competitive endeavors like Mtn.Top Snowbike which, according to the court filings, Polaris claims directly infringes on the agreement established.

Mangum has not yet issued a public statement in response to the lawsuit. We will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Cover photo: A closeup of 2023 Polaris manufactured Timbersled. | Source: Polaris Industries Ltd.

Will Burgessย is a journalist with Adrenaline Powersports Mag

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