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OtterBox buys rival case maker LifeProof, drops ongoing patent suit

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At the CTIA conference on Wednesday, mobile device case maker OtterBox announced that it has purchased TreeFrog Developments Inc., DBA LifeProof, known commercially as "LifeProof," for an undisclosed sum and has officially dropped allegations of patent infringement against the company.

In a subsequent press release posted to the OtterBox's website, CEO Brian Thomas said LifeProof will slowly be incorporated into the OtterBox family over the next 30 days, with current employees to remain at the purchased company's San Diego, Calif. headquarters.

LifeProof, which earned awards for its line of waterproof iPhone and iPad cases, employs about 250 people, all of whom will join the ranks of the roughly 650 employees OtterBox has scattered around the world.

“The joining of OtterBox and LifeProof is a way to combine two great brands and provide customers with even more great products, services and choices for smartphone accessories,” Thomas said. “Our goal in this acquisition is to create more value for our customers than we ever could have generated while operating individually.”

Not mentioned in the release was a patent suit OtterBox filed against LifeProof in August 2011, claiming the company infringed on four properties pertaining to protective device enclosures. The Colorado court case was officially terminated today as a likely result of the takeover.

While not specifically stated in court documents, the deal was likely to have been near finalized in early March as a proposal to stay the case until May 20 was entered on March 6, to be signed a day later by presiding Judge William J. Martinez. Subsequent motions to withdraw counsel were filed by both sides later that month.

As for future products resulting from the acquisition, OtterBox is staying mum, saying only that further announcements will be made once integration of LifeProof is complete.