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Federal Court Triples Jury’s Damages Award Against Swedish Company for Patent Infringement.

There is a growing need for Swedish to English certified translation services for patent litigation cases. The recent case of Crane Security Technologies, Inc. v. Rolling Optics involved an intellectual property dispute filed by a large U.S. company against a small enterprise in Sweden for patent infringement.

The Parties

The plaintiff is the exclusive supplier of paper used for producing United States currency. The plaintiff paid in excess of $100 million for the patents that are the subject of this suit, patents which involve micro-optics systems that produce synthetically magnified 3D images used to form holographic labels. The holographic labels are commonly used on U.S. currency in order to ensure the authenticity of paper money and other items such as alcohol.

The defendant is a small Swedish start-up company that has never produced a profit. It developed a series of 3D foils and labels that presented various visual effects depicting floating objects or motion, and its customers were mostly located outside of the U.S. At least one company, however, purchased products from the defendant in Sweden and imported them into the United States.

Procedural Background

In response to the Plaintiffs’ lawsuit the defendants first moved to dismiss the plaintiffs’ claims on the grounds that the court lacked jurisdiction. The defendants were not successful. The parties subsequently filed motions for summary judgment, and the court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on certain patent infringement claims. The remaining claims went to trial, and the jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $119,186, finding that the defendant had “actively induced” infringement by third parties and had infringed on the plaintiffs’ patents willfully. The defendant then followed a motion for judgment as a matter of law, and the plaintiff filed a motion for a permanent injunction and a request for enhanced damages.

The Defendant’s Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law

In its motion for judgment as a matter of law, the defendant argued that the plaintiff failed to introduce sufficient evidence at trial to support the jury’s verdict in favor or the plaintiff. The court disagreed, holding that the evidence at trial supported a reasonable inference that the defendant sold the holographic foils intending for them to be imported into the United States. The court found that the defendant also sent free samples of its products to a U.S. company in an attempt to induce that company into selling products containing the defendant’s labels.

The court also noted that the defendant’s co-founder learned of the plaintiff’s “parent” patent for its products in 2007 when the co-founder’s own patent application was rejected in Sweden. Accordingly, the court ruled that the jury had heard sufficient evidence that the defendant was at least “willfully blind” to the fact that the plaintiff’s patent rights were likely to be infringed upon through the importation of the defendant’s products into the United States. Thus, the court denied the defendant’s motion for judgment as a matter of law.

The Plaintiff’s Motion for Enhanced Damages

Unhappy with the jury’s award of damages, the plaintiff asked the court to increase its damages by threefold. The court granted the plaintiff’s request and tripled the plaintiff’s damages to $326,244. The court held that the defendant had “willfully sent infringing products into the U.S. market without a good faith belief in non-infringement or invalidity and with a willful disregard for [plaintiff’s] patents.”

The court reasoned that the defendant had not presented any evidence that it had researched any patents or considered the possibility for patent infringement before entering the U.S. market by sending free samples to potential customers. Rather, the court held that the defendant simply “took the chance” and attempted to advance its products within the United States without any regard for the plaintiff’s patents.

The Plaintiff’s Motion for Permanent Injunction

The plaintiff also filed a motion asking the court to permanently enjoin the defendant from engaging in any activity which would infringe on its existing patents. The court granted this motion in part, finding that the plaintiff had suffered “irreparable harm” in the form of lost market exclusivity and a damaged reputation as a result of the defendant’s violation of the plaintiff’s patent rights. Accordingly, the court barred the defendant from selling or offering to sell to any customers (or potential customers) any product which would infringe upon the plaintiff’s patents. The court also required the defendant to provide notice of the injunction to any current or former customers dating back to 2015.

The case is Crane Security Technologies, Inc. et al. v. Rolling Optics, decided on August 23, 2018 by the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

All Language Alliance, Inc. provides certified legal document translation services from all Scandinavian languages to English and certified legal translation from English to Swedish; from English to Norwegian; from English to Danish. Contact our legal translation service to inquire about retaining Swedish deposition interpreters, Danish deposition interpreters, and Norwegian deposition interpreters for patent infringement litigation.

***This legal document translation article should not be construed as legal advice. You should always consult an attorney regarding your specific legal needs.***

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