Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Damages Award Exceeding Stipulated 4% Royalty Rate Was Not Excessive

Defendant's motion for judgment as a matter of law on damages was denied even though the jury awarded damages greater than the 4% royalty rate the parties had stipulated was reasonable. "'A reasonable royalty is not necessarily the actual measure of damages but is merely the floor below which damages should not fall'. . . . The jury was presented with evidence that the Plaintiffs would not have willingly granted a license to [defendant] at a 4% rate in 2005, and that there was a long standing contention between the parties because [defendant] had previously infringed [plaintiffs'] patents. Further, there was evidence that [defendant] was a direct competitor with the Plaintiffs . . . and that [one plaintiff] lost sales to [defendant's] infringing product. This evidence allowed the jury to find that a 4% royalty rate would not have been enough to adequately compensate Plaintiffs for the use of their patented ideas, or the damages derived from lost customers and the corresponding profits from lost sales."

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC, et. al. v. Haldex Brake Products Corporation, 1-09-cv-00176 (OHND January 3, 2011, Order) (Nugent, J.)

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