Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Potential Application of Entire Market Value Rule Justifies Discovery Concerning Profitability of Dodge Ram Trucks

The court granted plaintiff's motion to compel discovery concerning the profitability of defendant's trucks which contained the accused storage box feature because the discovery was relevant to damages. "Plaintiffs state that they have requested documents relating to gross and net revenues and profit margins for Dodge Ram trucks that are equipped with the RamBox for model year 2009 to the present. Defendant has refused to produce the revenue information that Plaintiffs sought, asserting that the information was not relevant. . . . Defendant argues that, in cases where an invention is part of a larger product, as the storage box here is part of a truck, then the damages should only be calculated by how much profit is made on the smaller invention. That rule is the general rule. . . . 'The entire market value rule is a narrow exception to this general rule.' . . . [I]f Plaintiffs were to succeed in this case, Plaintiffs should not be able to recover more than the reasonable royalty rate without a sufficient showing that the storage box drove sales of the trucks themselves. The Court recognizes the risks of requiring Defendant to disclose profits of the trucks. But the Court is confident, upon a more appropriately timed motion in limine, that it can sort out the proper damages method."

Clare et al v. Chrysler Group LLC, 2-13-cv-11225 (MIED June 4, 2014, Order) (Edmunds, J.)

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