Black & Decker Inc. v. Robert Bosch Tool Corp., No. 04 C 7955, 2006 WL 3359349 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 20, 2006) (St. Eve, J.).
In this post-trial opinion, Judge St. Eve denies plaintiff’s motion for attorney’s fees, enhances the jury’s damages award by 50% pursuant to 35 USC Section 284 and awards plaintiff prejudgment interest compounded monthly. Despite the jury’s willfulness finding the Court held that attorney’s fees were not warranted because defendant’s advocacy was consistently professional and the substantive positions it argued were largely meritorious.
The Court enhanced damages by 50% (an additional $875,000) based upon: 1) evidence that defendant copied plaintiff’s design and ideas; 2) defendant’s lack of good faith basis for continued infringement (lack of opinion of counsel); 3) defendant’s size and financial condition; 4) the fact that the case was not close; and 5) defendant’s failure to take remedial action (five of the nine Read factors, Read Corp. v. Portec, Inc., 970 F.2d 816 (Fed. Cir. 1992)). But the Court noted that defendant’s level of culpability did not evidence "wanton disregard" and, therefore, did not warrant a full trebling of damages.
The Court also awarded plaintiff prejudgment interest. Defendant did not object to the interest award, but rather sought that the interest be based upon the T-Bill rate instead of the prime rate, as plaintiff requested. The Court held that the T-Bill rate was more appropriate because it would compensate plaintiff without providing a windfall, but did compound interest monthly because plaintiff would have had access to the profits from any royalties or lost sales at least monthly.