Sabinsa Corporation v. Olive Lifesciences Pvt. Ltd., 3-16-cv-03321 (NJD June 1, 2018, Order) (Wolfson, USDJ)
Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Infringement by Defaulting Company Controlled by Former Employee Justifies Award of Enhanced Damages
The court granted plaintiff's motion for enhanced damages against a defaulting defendant because defendant's motivation for harm, lack of a good faith defense, lack of remedial action, duration of misconduct, and lack of closeness of the case favored treble damages. "[P]rior to joining [defendant], [defendant's chairman] was employed at [company related to plaintiff], where he gained familiarity with [plaintiff's] intellectual property rights. . . and, prior to initiating this action, [plaintiff] sent [defendant] a letter notifying it of the [patent-in-suit] and [defendant's] infringing actions. Those facts, taken together with the fact that [the parties] are direct competitors, support an inference that [defendant] deliberately infringed the [patent], with the purpose of harming [plaintiff's] business. . . . [T]here is no evidence in the record to support a finding that [defendant] investigated the scope of the [patent] and formed a good-faith belief that it was invalid or that it was not infringed. . . . [T]he record is devoid of any evidence that [defendant] took remedial actions. . . . [Defendant] sold its infringing product [for almost a year]. Finally, because default judgment has already been entered as to [defendant's] liability for infringement, the closeness factor supports enhanced damages."