Sea-Doo Maker Must Pay $1.5 Million More in Patent Case

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By Peter Leung

Aug. 16 — Recreational vehicle maker Arctic Cat Inc. is entitled to even more damages on top of the $47 million award it won from rival Bombardier Recreational Products Inc., the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida ruled Aug. 12 ( Arctic Cat Inc. v. Bombardier Recreational Prods., Inc. , 2016 BL 263827, S.D. Fla., No. 14-62369, 8/12/16 ).

The ruling, which appeared on the docket Aug. 15, increases the damages award by $1.5 million, and also calls for the parties to negotiate a royalty rate for future infringing sales.

In June, a jury found that some of BRP's Sea-Doo personal watercraft vehicles infringed two of Arctic Cat's patents (116 PTD, 6/16/16).

The patents were U.S. Patent Nos. 6,568,969 and 6,793,545, which relate to safer steering technology for personal watercraft.

In deciding the damages, the jury set a royalty at $102.54 per infringing vehicle, covering nearly 152,000 vehicles. The court also ordered BRP to pay triple damages, because the patent infringement was willful.

The triple damages raised the initial award to nearly $47 million.

More Money

On Aug. 12, the court granted Arctic Cat's motion for supplemental damages, including the triple damages multiplier, for the nearly 5,000 infringing vehicles BRP sold since the earlier verdict, for an extra $1.5 million.

The court also ordered the parties to negotiate a royalty rate for future sales of infringing units until the expiration of the '545 patent. The negotiations should take into account the royalty setting factors outlined in Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. U.S. Plywood Corp. (S.D.N.Y. 1970), with $102.54 per unit as the floor for negotiations, the court said.

The court noted that it was within its power to set the royalty rate on its own, but denied Arctic Cat's request to do so, explaining that it was better for the parties to negotiate among themselves.

No More Arguments

In addition to deciding Arctic Cat's motions, the court also rejected BRP's motion for a judgment as a matter of law.

To win a motion for judgment as a matter of law, BRP had to prove that there was no evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to reach its verdict. The court said that BRP did not meet this burden as its motion consisted largely of “repackaged arguments” that had already been rejected earlier in the case.

In particular, it said that BRP could not explain how the Supreme Court's decision in Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc. (U.S. 2016), which came down shortly after trial ended and actually made it easier to get punitive damages against a losing party, would change the outcome.

Judge Beth Bloom decided the motions. Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, Harke Clasby & Bushman LLP and Kutak Rock LLP represented Arctic Cat. Dinsmore & Shohl LLP and Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell represented BRP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Leung in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Wilczek at

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