Friday, April 16, 2010

False Marking Fine Calculated as a Percentage of the Product's Sales Price and Includes Sales of Products Not Falsely Marked

The court set plaintiff's fine for false marking at $0.35/unit. "[B]y penalizing [plaintiff] at a rate of about 32% of [plaintiff's] overall average sales price of $1.07 per [product], the fine is substantial enough to enforce the public policy embodied in the statute and to deter any similar violations in the future. On the other hand, by not imposing a disproportional liability for what appears to be an 'inexpensive mass-produced article,' the fine serves its deterrent function without over-penalizing [plaintiff]." In determining the appropriate fine for plaintiff's false marking, the court rejected "[plaintiff's] proposal that the Court only assess fines for those capacitors that were shipped with a falsely marked label. As [defendant] correctly points out, during the relevant time, [plaintiff] also advertised the [product] in its catalog and on its website as practicing the [patent]. . . . [J]ust because [plaintiff] did not mark all of the shipped [products] with the [patent] does not change the fact that it violated the statute by using the [patent] in advertising all of those [products]."

Presidio Components Inc. v. American Technical Ceramics Corp., 3-08-cv-00335 (CASD April 13, 2010, Order) (Gonzalez, J.)

Read more about false marking cases here.

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