CleanCut, LLC v. Rug Doctor, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Patents
  • Date Filed: 02-04-2013
  • Case #: 2:08-cv-836
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Campbell
  • Full Text Opinion

Objective willfulness exists where the patentee shows that “the infringer acted despite an objectively high likelihood that its actions constituted infringement of a valid patent.”

Opinion (Campbell): CleanCut sued Rug Doctor and Nature's Finest, LLC (collectively Rug Doctor), alleging infringement of its ‘851 patent covering a device for trimming candle-wicks. A jury found that the patent was found valid, and that Rug Doctor willfully infringed it. CleanCut moved for Entry of Judgment and asked for enhanced damages, attorney's fees, and a permanent injunction. Rug Doctor filed an Opposition arguing that objective willfulness had not been found, the evidence at trial did not support a finding of willfulness, and that CleanCut was not entitled to enhanced damages, attorney's fees, or a permanent injunction. Crediting the testimony of two CleanCut employees, the Court found that CleanCut had informed Rug Doctor in a sales meeting held prior to Rug Doctor’s infringement that a patent covered CleanCut’s product. From that testimony, the Court determined that Rug Doctor acted despite being aware that its actions would be infringing. Combining the court's determination with the jury's finding, the court AFFIRMED the finding of willful infringement. The Court also found that the factors involved supported of enhanced damages. Accordingly, the court awarded CleanCut double damages, but denied its other requests.

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