Monday, August 19, 2013

Reasonable Belief in Noninfringement and Good Faith Design-Around Repel Attorneys’ Fee Claim

Following a bench trial on damages and attorneys' fees, the court denied plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. "[A]lthough Defendants continued to sell and market infringing pool enclosures after this case was filed, they did so because they had a reasonable belief that their enclosures did not infringe the [patent-in-suit]. This belief was based on the denial of [plaintiff's] motion for a preliminary injunction. Furthermore, after the Court ruled that Defendants’ enclosures did infringe, Defendants made a good faith effort to design around the Patent by fixing the end panels of their pool covers in place. Thus, Plaintiff has not shown that Defendants willfully infringed as it has not met its burden to show that Defendants acted despite an objectively high likelihood of infringement."

Aqua Shield v. Interpool Pool Cover Team, 2-09-cv-00013 (UTD August 14, 2013, Order) (Stewart, J.).

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