Vedder Thinking | News Shareholders Successfully Obtain Reversal in Meyer Intellectual Props. Ltd. v. Bodum, Inc.
On August 15, 2012, Vedder Price Shareholders David E. Bennett and Robert S. Rigg successfully obtained a reversal at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in Meyer Intellectual Props. Ltd. v. Bodum, Inc., a patent infringement case.
In a concurring opinion, U.S. Circuit Judge Timothy B. Dyk stated that Meyer's design was "nothing new" and the patent should not have been issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, let alone allowed to reach a jury. Click on the PDF below to view the complete opinion.
In 2006, Meyer Intellectual Properties Ltd. filed suit alleging that Bodum infringed two of Meyer's patents, both of which are directed to a method for frothing milk. In February 2011, a jury held the patents to be valid and willfully infringed, awarding $50,000 in damages. The district court tripled the award and added attorney's fees in excess of $750,000.
In its August 15 ruling, the CAFC reversed the district court's decision granting summary judgment that Bodum infringed the patents-in-suit, precluding Bodum from introducing prior art that was disclosed during discovery, barring Bodum's expert from testifying on the issue of obviousness, and precluding Bodum from introducing any evidence of inequitable conduct. Additionally, the CAFC vacated the district court's decision that Bodum had willfully infringed the patents-in-suit. It also vacated the jury's verdict of willfulness and remanded for a new trial.