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Yeti Coolers and RTIC Reach Settlement – A Take of Two Press Releases

For years I’ve been watching people poo-poo Yeti coolers as being too expensive, while they go on and on about how great RTIC coolers are. The thing is, RTIC made copies of almost every Yeti design and charged less. You can do that when you don’t actually design anything.

In the course of time, Yeti sued RTIC. Apparently, they’ve settled. The difference in the public statements is quite interesting.

I’ll start with RTIC’s because, well, you’ll figure it out once you read them both.

RTIC IS VERY PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE AN AGREEMENT REACHED WITH YETI

RTIC, the leading direct to consumer online retailer of premium coolers and drinkware announces that it has entered into a settlement agreement with YETI today for the purpose of avoiding the additional costs and uncertainty of continued litigation. The dispute has been amicably resolved and as part of the agreement, RTIC has agreed to redesign only those products involved in the dispute.

As part of the Agreement, RTIC is precluded from commenting further, but RTIC is very pleased with the settlement and considers it a win.

RTIC had previously announced last month changes to its 2017 product lines and expects to rollout new products and updated existing products starting in early Spring. RTIC will continue to operate as normal selling all the RTIC brand of products as provided on the www.RTICcoolers.com website keeping true to its promise to deliver “Over Built – Not Over Priced” products to all its RTIC fans & customers.

Now, let’s look at Yeti’s perspective.

Austin, Texas (February 2, 2017) — YETI®, the leading premium cooler and drinkware brand, is pleased to announce that a binding settlement has been reached in the United States District Court lawsuits brought against RTIC Coolers and brothers John and Jim Jacobsen.

RTIC Coolers and the Jacobsens are required to make a financial payment to YETI; to cease sales of all products subject to the lawsuit – this includes hard-sided coolers, soft-sided coolers and drinkware; and to redesign all products in question.

YETI CEO Matt Reintjes stated, “We are extremely pleased with the results we have achieved. We will continue to defend our innovation and intellectual property. This is a true win.”

Further details will be shared as they become available. YETI is not available for further comment on this topic at this point.

What do you think?

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34 Responses to “Yeti Coolers and RTIC Reach Settlement – A Take of Two Press Releases”

  1. Jesse says:

    I think RTIC is asking for another suit. This time without a settlement.

  2. Jeremy says:

    Another YETI price hike in 3…2…1…

    • SSD says:

      I don’t think so. However, RTIC is going to have to do something to come up with the money to pay Yeti and develop new products.

  3. willsew4kit says:

    an excellent example of “Alternative facts”

  4. EODFish says:

    Maybe I am dumb, but other than not mentioning the cash part in the RTIC letter, don’t they say the same thing?

    • Patrick says:

      Yeah, they both claim the win. But Yeti mentions that RTIC is paying them, so you can guess who the real winner is.

    • SSD says:

      That’s kind of the point. RTIC is silent on the subject and Yeti is all like, “bitch betta have my money!”

  5. PPGMD says:

    Hopefully RTIC can remain in business, because I like there rectangular soft cooler design. I haven’t bought one, since I am hoping an American made cooler company will up their game and make something similar.

  6. ThatOneGuy says:

    Of course RTIC sees at a win. They were able to stay in business and the fine wasn’t enough to crush them.

  7. Jambo says:

    Surprised I never heard about RTIC. Might try them out just to see now.

  8. BAP45 says:

    I was surprised it took Yeti that long to sue. Laughed the first time I saw the RTICs because i thought “wow someone is being a blatant copy.”

  9. Luke says:

    ABOUT TIME. I keep telling guys that buying RCTIC is just telling the market that it is more profitable to sell knock offs then to drive innovation. Want a cheaper cooler? there are plenty to choose from that are cheaper then a yeti but still bothered to do their own design works. I’m not even a yeti fan but RCTIC was one of the most blatant examples of design piracy in recent memory.

    • Phil says:

      Sounds good but Yeti’s initial core product (the tundra series cooler), was a rip off of a cooler made by Engel. They changed the latches from metal to rubber. That’s some serious innovation there.

  10. Manny says:

    Just ordered an RTIC 45, figured I better get while the getting is good.

  11. CapnTroy says:

    RTIC’s non-admittal press release reminds me of the Newsweek cover that proclaimed “Madam President”…some kind of alternate universe…

  12. Collin Backus says:

    It’s about time.

  13. rearmount says:

    Also, not all of Yeti’s coolers are made in the USA. RTIC’s are made in China.

    If you want a USA-made cooler that shares similar DNA to the Yeti, check out those made by Orca.

    • matty says:

      Alternatively Orion coolers is good as fuck too.

      • Dellis says:

        The Orca coolers are great. Very satisfied with mine

        My issue with these high insulated coolers is the big outside deceptive look and the tiny interior reality!!

        So the thing to then do is get a larger size…then try lugging it around once filled with ice and your essentials

  14. Diddler says:

    Yeti is the Arcteryx of coolers. Awesome stuff that should be much more reasonably priced since it’s made by slaves. Imagine what those roto-molded coolers would cost if the labor was more than $0.02/hour.

    That being said, if their designs got ripped off, that’s uncool.

    • Kev says:

      Much of the Arc’teryx stuff we’re interested in is made in British Columbia by the best in the business

  15. Will says:

    Yeti created this problem. They designed their products here, and then decided to manufacture them in China. Chinese factories are notorious for ripping off everything. The reality is it is better for the Chinese factories to keep producing products, and keep the assembly lines moving. I promise you the fine is still less than the money the factory made from selling Yeti designed mugs directly. If you dig deeper you’ll see that the Yeti business model is based on a traditional wholesale to retail model. RTIC simply sent their products from the factory to Amazon which sells nearly at wholesale for most products.

  16. John says:

    I bought an RTIC soft sided 20 when it was 15% off now they are 30% off. I asked if I could get a credit and apply the credit to a 45. They said no. I immediately had a suspicion that the suit was ending. They need as much cash on hand as possible. Also warranties for items already bought maybe voided. RTICs website is still selling though.

    • Nick says:

      Or if you buy something at one price, you don’t get a better price when it goes on sale down the road…

  17. Jeremy says:

    I think Yeti is way over priced

  18. Thulsa Doom says:

    The cooler wars continue. The need to have a $300 cooler to save $2 worth of ice keeping your Natty Light cool at the lake is obvious. Plus you can get that sticker to put on the back window of your truck next to your Costa sunglasses, Glock, and other virtue signaling branding.

    Yeti is a triumph of marketing.

    • Dellis says:

      Actually a great use of my Orca is holding perishable items such a milk or meats while we do other running around. So it works great like that…add some ice, toss in the stuff and not have to worry about getting home quickly.

    • Diddler says:

      The only folks who can legitimately argue that point are folks who use them every day. Say you work outdoors, 280 days/year. At least half those days, it’s hot enough to go through at least one bag of $2 ice/day. That’s $280. Say your stupid expensive cooler keeps your drinks cold for three days. Now you’re spending $95/year on ice. After a few years, the savings offset the ludicrous money for the cooler and you start saving money. At least that’s how it turned out for a guy I know who got one of the first coolers they made, years ago. I’m pretty sure it was made here then too.

      • Thulsa Doom says:

        For a very small fraction of folks, it makes sense to invest in a wonder cooler. For the rest, it’s false economy. Many tankless water heaters are the same….their useful lifespan is less than the ROI period over a conventional tanked water heater.

    • Luke says:

      Its not about saving money on ice. It is about keeping stuff cold when you want to go somewhere that doesn’t sell ice.

      Shocking, I know, but some people like to hang out more then an hour away from the nearest gas station.

    • CAPT Jake says:

      and one

    • Friobandito says:

      Good point from the guy with the Oakley sticker, next to the Sig sticker on his truck. Or was that the RayBan & Springfield Armory? Anyway, I do agree that the price is high, but they are meeting a market need. As someone who spends a lot of time outdoors, I can confirm that it is nice to have a cooler which keeps ice for several days in the southwestern US.

      If the kiddos like the stickers than kudos to the marketing team. I don’t follow what’s popular, only what other experienced individuals report. I have Yeti, Rtic, and igloo coolers that range from $25 – $400 retail. Each has a need and a purposeful use to my family.

      The only reason I didn’t have more of the alternatives, they could not be found around where I am when I was shopping. I would have gladly compared some of the others if I had found them.

      I actually say Kudos to Yeti. They charge more, people pay it, then they give back to some worthy causes. Good American capitalism at its finest. Now they have competition from makers of as good, or even better, quality. So let’s see how that competition helps us all in the long run.

  19. zeke182 says:

    I can respect not wanting your design ripped off, but come on all of these coolers, except Pelican look the same. A roto molded box. Which they have been making tool cases out of for decades. So can the company that makes my drill case sue all of them? Grizzly brand and Ozard by Walmart are identical as well. I think the rub if you will, was the fact that only RTIC made direct comparisons using Yeti’s name on their website. As for the money, I don’t think that will be a problem as John and Jim Jacobsen, the twin brothers that founded RTIC have lots of that. Before they got into the cooler business they started Cheap, Cheap Moving boxes which is the largest direct-to-consumer retailer of moving boxes in the U.S. They also sell a bed in a box. Their expertise is in logistic really, as they say moving bulky items efficiently and cheap. Yeti’s expertise is in marketing. They have done a fabulous job of getting big name anglers, hunters and other sportsman to promo their stuff., and getting your name used in a big country song doesn’t hurt either.