Jury finds for Exmark against Briggs & Stratton in patent infringement case
Exmark is a division of Toro.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel added details-->
In a federal court decision in Nebraska, announced Monday, jurors said that Exmark was entitled to $24.3 million in damages and also found that the infringement was willful, which would allow the judge to enhance the jury's damages award.
Exmark's lawsuit, filed in 2010, was aimed at certain Snapper and Ferris brand mowers manufactured by Briggs & Stratton.
The patent was issued in 1999, according to court records.
Briggs and another defendant in the case, Schiller Grounds Care Inc. of Pennsylvania, argued that the patent was invalid for several reasons.
But in an earlier ruling, a federal judge said it had been reviewed by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and that its claims were patentable.
The District Court jury decided that Briggs willfully infringed on Exmark's patent.
The jury, however, found that redesigned versions of the mowers, currently in the marketplace, did not infringe on the patent.
Briggs & Stratton spokeswoman Laura Timm said the company strongly disagreed with the verdict.
The company "intends to vigorously pursue its rights through post-trial motions and, if necessary, on appeal," Timm said in a statement.
Exmark spokesman Branden Happel said the company was pleased with the verdict.
"We work hard to develop innovative products and solutions to help our customers and vigorously protect and defend our patents and other intellectual property rights," Happel said in a statement.