Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Timing of Invalidity Opinion Key to Willfulness Analysis

The court denied defendant's motion for summary judgment of no willful infringement of plaintiff's cargo trailer patents. "[G]enuine fact disputes exist as to whether [defendant] proceeded with bidding and building the allegedly infringing trailers before performing a sufficient analysis to determine whether [defendant] had a reasonable invalidity defense. The timing of the invalidity opinion matters because 'timely consultation with counsel may be evidence that an infringer did not engage in objectively reckless behavior.' If, however, [defendant] did not evaluate its potential defenses as to the Patents until after it began bidding and manufacturing the allegedly infringing trailers -- despite knowing about the Patents -- then such a course of action could suggest objective recklessness."

Great Dane Limited Partnership v. Stoughton Trailers, LLC
, 3-08-cv-00089 (GAMD January 28, 2011, Order) (Land, J.)

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