Florida Court Awards Arctic Cat $46.7 Million Judgment for Willful Patent InfringementNews | June 14, 2016
Earlier this month, a Florida jury found in favor of Kutak Rock client Arctic Cat Inc. on Arctic Cat’s complaint for patent infringement against Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. and BRP U.S. Inc. (BRP). Today, based on that verdict, United States District Court Judge Beth Bloom awarded Arctic Cat a final judgment of nearly $46.7 million.
On June 1, a Florida jury found that the BRP defendants willfully infringed two Arctic Cat patents relating to controlled-thrust steering technology for personal watercraft (PWC) based upon the sale of numerous models of BRP’s Sea-Doo PWC. Because of the willfulness finding, the verdict qualified for an enhanced award of treble damages, an amount up to three times the original award. The final judgment awarded to Arctic Cat reflects the Court’s decision that the finding of willful infringement warranted an award of treble damages to Arctic Cat.
“Arctic Cat is humbled by the jury’s verdict and the Court’s order awarding enhanced damages in this case,” said Michael Okerlund, Vice President of Legal Affairs for Arctic Cat. “We are also truly grateful to the legal team, including the lawyers from Kutak Rock LLP and Hagens Berman, who worked together to bring about this victory. This victory is a testament to the professionalism, hard work, and tireless advocacy brought to bear in this case.”
Arctic Cat’s litigation team included Niall MacLeod, Aaron Myers, and Diane Peterson from Kutak Rock’s Minneapolis office,* along with Nicholas Boebel from Seattle-based Hagens Berman. Boebel, Myers, and Peterson represented Arctic Cat at trial.
“We are very pleased with this outcome and very appreciative of the Court’s hard work and careful jurisprudence put into this case,” said Myers. “Arctic Cat is a tremendous company with a long history of innovation, and this result reflects that.”
Boebel, who originally filed Arctic Cat’s lawsuit in October 2014, agreed.
“Judge Bloom’s final judgment in this case is not only a major victory for our client, Arctic Cat, but a testament to the importance of upholding IP law and punishing willful patent infringement,” Boebel said. “It is our hope that this stands as a line in the sand to would-be patent infringers to help inventors and small businesses.”
The outcome was a product of Arctic Cat’s commitment to defending its IP rights against a larger competitor, Peterson explained.
“We appreciate Arctic Cat putting its trust in this team,” Peterson said. “We are thrilled that our work brought about this result.”
“Patent lawsuits are typically complex and hard-fought,” added MacLeod. “This case was no different. We are very pleased to have reached a result reflecting Arctic Cat’s track record of innovation, and respecting its intellectual property rights.”
* Bruce Wray from Kutak Rock's Omaha office assisted with the trial.