Georgetown Rail Equipment Company v. Holland LP, 6-13-cv-00366 (TXED June 16, 2016, Order) (Schroeder, J.)
Monday, June 20, 2016
Read Factors Justify Enhanced Damages Award
Following a jury verdict of willful infringement and a damages award of $1.5 million, the court awarded plaintiff an additional $1 million in enhanced damages because defendant's copying, lack of a good faith belief of no liability, litigation conduct, size/financial condition, lack of closeness of the case, and lack of remedial action favored an award of enhanced damages. "The fact that [defendant] partnered with [a nonparty] and directed them to develop the software portion of the infringing [systems] does not preclude a finding that [defendant] copied [plaintiff's] technology. An infringer can copy another person’s patented invention even though the infringer directs another to build the copy. . . . A belief that individual components of a patented system are not themselves patentable is not a good faith belief of noninfringement or invalidity. . . . [Defendant] was provided with highly confidential information regarding [plaintiff's] system and the evidence shows that [defendant] knew [plaintiff's] system was patented — yet there is no evidence that [defendant] made an investigation into the scope of [plaintiff's] patent rights, made any attempt to design around the patent, or had a good faith belief of noninfringement. . . . [T]his was not a close case and given the reasonable relief [plaintiff] requested, it could have been resolved in a more efficient manner. . . . [Defendant] is an international company of about 1,100 employees. . . . A trebled damage award of $4,623,999 would represent less than one percent of [defendant's] annual revenue, or approximately nine percent of the revenue of the relevant business division. . . . As previously detailed throughout this Order, [defendant's] noninfringement defenses were not strong. . . . [Defendant argues] that it took remedial action by removing the [infringing] hardware from its . . . vehicles following the Court’s preliminary injunction. [Defendant] confuses compliance with the preliminary injunction with remedial action."