Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Foreign Parties and Manufacturers not Entitled to “Preliminary Assessment” of Willfulness Evidence to Avoid “Inherent Prejudice”

The court denied defendant's motion in limine to exclude evidence of pre-filing willfulness and rejected defendant's argument that the jury would be "likely to infer willfulness on the basis of ethnic stereotypes, noting that [defendant's] principals are Persian and their manufacturer is Taiwanese." "Essentially, [defendant] argues that unless a litigant has clear evidence of willfulness, a claim of willfulness may not be pursued against a foreign company or a company utilizing a foreign manufacturer as there is an inherent and unavoidable risk that a verdict will be entered against the foreign party on the basis of sheer prejudice alone. [Defendant] presents absolutely no legal support for this argument that claims for willful infringement against foreign companies should be subject to a preliminary assessment to determine the likelihood of success on the merits."

Sargent Mfg. Co. v. Cal-Royal Products Inc., 3-08-cv-00408 (CTD July 27, 2012, Order) (Bryant, J.).

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