Patent Damages
21May/19Off

D. Neb. denies JMOL, finds delay in filing suit irrelevant to damages

In Exmark Mfg. Co. v. Briggs & Stratton Corp., Case No. 8:10CV187 (D. Neb. April 15, 2019), Judge Joseph F. Bataillon denied Briggs’ JMOL motion or in the alternative for new trial or remittitur. These were post-trial motions after a retrial on damages, in which the jury awarded damages to Exmark, which occurred after remand from the Federal Circuit—the appellate court had affirmed in part and reversed in part and remanded the case to the district court to retry damages. Exmark Mfg. Co. v. Briggs & Stratton, 879 F.3d 1332, 1348-54 (Fed. Cir. 2018). The Federal Circuit found error in the court’s denial of Briggs’ motion for new trial and remanded for a new trial on damages. According to the district court’s order addressed here, the Federal Circuit “found no error in the Court’s allowing Exmark to apportion the value of the patented improvement and conventional components of the multi-component product through the royalty base [sic, rate] rather than the royalty rate [sic, base] and approved Exmark’s use of the accused lawn mower sales to as the royalty base. Id. at 1348-49.” Slip op. at 1. The district court further observed that the Federal Circuit “found Exmark’s damages expert Melissa Bennis’s opinion was inadmissible ‘as it failed to adequately tie the expert’s proposed reasonable royalty rate to the facts of the case,’ stating that the expert ‘plucked the 5% royalty rate out of nowhere.’ Id. at 1350-51.” Slip op. at 1-2.