Skip to Content

KR Receives "Minnesota Attorney of Year" Award for IP Litigation Results

News | February 14, 2019

Kutak Rock attorneys Aaron Myers, Niall MacLeod and Diane Peterson received a 2018 Attorney of the Year award from Minnesota Lawyer for their high-profile patent litigation wins for Arctic Cat, a Minnesota manufacturer of snowmobiles and off-road vehicles. The Kutak Rock group was honored with other Attorney of the Year winners at an event in Minneapolis on February 13, 2019.


In 2017, the Kutak Rock trial team obtained a jury verdict for Arctic Cat in the District of Minnesota in a patent-litigation suit brought by Bombardier Recreational Products (“BRP”). BRP alleged that numerous model years of Arctic Cat’s snowmobiles infringed two different BRP patents, each from different patent families, relating to snowmobile frame designs and rider positioning. After a three-week trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Arctic Cat finding that both of the asserted patents were invalid on multiple grounds.


In 2016, Kutak Rock and its co-counsel, attorney Nick Boebel, represented Arctic Cat in Arctic Cat v. Bombardier Recreational Products (S.D. Florida). A Miami jury found that Bombardier willfully infringed two Arctic Cat patents related to controlled-thrust steering technology for personal watercraft (PWC).  The court trebled damages based on the finding of BRP’s willful infringement. The judgment of more than $46 million was named No. 32 on the list of Top 100 Verdicts of 2016. Kutak Rock co-counseled on the appeal with Boebel, who presently practices with the Hansen Reynolds firm, and Fish & Richardson. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the liability verdict and remanded the case to the district court for a recalculation of damages based on an interpretation of the federal marking statute.


Myers and MacLeod are experienced patent litigators who joined the Minneapolis office of Kutak Rock in 2015. Peterson, another seasoned IP litigator, joined the following year. The Kutak Rock group expressed their appreciation to the Minnesota Lawyer and those who voted on the Attorney of the Year honor.


“We are honored to be recognized by our Minnesota peers,” said Myers. “I cannot say enough good things about the Minnesota lawyers involved in these cases, and that includes opposing counsel. Most of all, I am proud to be associated with a tremendous client in Arctic Cat/Textron and all of the exceptionally talented in-house lawyers whose contributions were essential to these outcomes.”


“Patent cases do not get to trial very often,” said MacLeod. “Winning patent infringement jury verdicts in back-to-back years is a rare accomplishment. We are proud to have achieved these results for Arctic Cat, a truly pioneering company and one that has meant so much to Minnesota over the years.”


“At the end of the day, these wins are Arctic Cat’s,” added Peterson. “We were just the lawyers fortunate enough to get to tell Arctic Cat’s story to the juries in Miami and Minneapolis.”


Other Kutak Rock attorneys provided valuable assistance in achieving the results for Arctic Cat, including Frederick H. Davis of the firm’s Little Rock office and Jacob Song of the firm’s Irvine/Los Angeles offices.  Jennifer Gauwitz provided paralegal and trial support.   


Kutak Rock is a national law firm with more than 540 lawyers in 17 locations.  Arctic Cat is owned by Textron Inc., which acquired the company in 2017. Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company with a global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses. Textron is known around the world for brands such as Bell, Cessna, Beechcraft, Hawker, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Arctic Cat, Textron Systems, and TRU Simulation + Training.  


"Attorneys of the Year" is an annual list assembled by Minnesota Lawyer to honor the best and brightest attorneys across the state. Click here to read the full list of honorees.