A Florida jury sided with Arctic Cat earlier this month and ordered defendant BRP to pay the Minnesota-based snowmobile and ATV manufacturer $15 million. Allegations in the case were that the makers of Sea-Doo personal watercraft (PWC) committed willful infringement of a propulsion system designed by Arctic Cat in the 1990s.
Even though Arctic Cat left the PWC business some 15 years ago and its propulsion design was never brought to market, a judge trebled the damages – meaning a final judgement of $46 million must be paid to Arctic Cat by BRP. Treble damages is a legal term that means a court may triple the compensation a defendant must pay a plaintiff, and some laws state that treble damages may be awarded only if the violation was willful. We aren’t legal experts, but reading between the lines tells us BRP knowingly played dirty and got caught red-handed. Here is a press release from Arctic Cat’s lawyers about the latest order from the court.
Judge Trebles Damages, Awarding $46 Million Judgement in Patent-Infringement Suit Against Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. and BRP U.S. Inc.
SEATTLE (June 14, 2016) – In a sweeping victory for Hagens Berman client Arctic Cat, Florida U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom today issued a final judgement of $46 million against defendants Bombardier Recreational Products Inc. (TSE: BBD.B) and BRP U.S. Inc., trebling initial damages of $15.5 million.
Earlier this month, a Florida jury unanimously sided with Arctic Cat, finding that the defendants willfully infringed all claims in question on two Arctic Cat patents.
The case, filed in the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleged that the makers of the Sea-Doo jet propulsion personal watercraft (PWC) willfully infringed several Arctic Cat patents.
“Judge Bloom’s final judgement 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,” said Nicholas Boebel of Hagens Berman, lead counsel for Arctic Cat. “It is our hope that this stands as a line in the sand to would-be patent infringers to help inventors and small businesses.”
“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 and profoundly grateful to Nicholas Boebel at the Hagen Berman firm. This victory is a testament to Mr. Boebel’s professionalism, his dedication and the tireless advocacy he brought to bear in this case.”
Hagens Berman co-counseled with Kutak Rock LLP on the suit.
“We are very pleased with this outcome and very appreciative of the Court’s hard work and careful jurisprudence put into this case,” said Aaron A. Myers of Kutak Rock. “Arctic Cat is a tremendous company with a long history of innovation, and this result reflects that.”