Friday, May 13, 2016

Defendant’s Copying, Lack of Investigation, Litigation Conduct, and Duration of Infringement Justify $24 Million Enhanced Damages Award

Following a jury verdict of willful infringement, the court granted plaintiff's motion for enhanced damages because defendant's copying, lack of a good faith investigation, litigation conduct, and a 15-year duration of infringement favored enhancement. "[Plaintiff] presented strong evidence of deliberate copying. And [defendant] presented no evidence as to where, other than in [plaintiff's] product, it would have obtained the idea for such a flow control baffle. . . . There is no evidence that [defendant] conducted any good faith investigation into the scope of the [patent-in-suit] or formed any good faith belief regarding alleged invalidity or noninfringement. Most importantly, the court finds [defendant] was aware of the [patent] including the claims relating to flow-control baffles by virtue of [its manager's] participation in [prior third party] litigation. . . . [Defendant] proposed strained claim constructions and argued meaningless distinctions in an attempt to avoid a finding of infringement. . . . [Defendant's] conduct also prolonged the litigation. [defendant] chose to wait more than two years after suit was filed, until fact discovery and expert reports were completed, to challenge [plaintiff's] patent in reexamination. . . . The duration of the infringement also favors the enhancement. The infringement began in 1999, when the patent was issued and continued until 2014 — four years after this action was filed."

Exmark Manufacturing Company Inc. v. Briggs & Stratton Power Product Group, et al, 8-10-cv-00187 (NED May 11, 2016, Order) (Bataillon, J.)

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