Ford Global Technologies, LLC. V. New World International, Inc.
Brooks Kushman Obtains Willful Infringement on 13 Design Patents on Behalf of Ford Motor Company
In a matter involving 13 design patents covering Ford Motor Company’s 2004 F-150 and 2005 Mustang models, a team of trial attorneys successfully represented Ford Global Technologies, LLC by obtaining a jury verdict of willful infringement and was awarded damages. The complaint was filed in 2015 against Texas-based aftermarket auto body parts distributor New World International, Inc. (“New World”) included design patents related to headlamps, hoods, mirrors, bumpers, taillamps and grills for the 2004 F-150 and 2005 Mustang models.Prior to trial, the judge found summary judgment of infringement of all 13 design patents. The jury trial proceeded to determine willfulness, validity, and damages. The jury rejected New World’s argument that the design patents were invalid for indefiniteness. The jury found New World’s infringement was willful and awarded disgorgement of New World’s profits in the amount of $493,057. On April 9, 2019, the Judge also awarded $2.1 million in attorneys fees.
Team Members Include: Marc Lorelli, Frank Angileri, and Anita Marinelli
Mag Automotive LLC V. Gadra Enterprises, Inc.
Brooks Kushman Obtains Summary Judgment of No Trademark Infringement
In a case involving a claim of trademark infringement regarding a Numbering System on automotive equipment parts, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan granted summary judgement in favor of Brooks Kushman’s client Gadra Enterprises, Inc. Brooks Kushman convinced the Court that Plaintiff Mag Automotive LLC had not produced sufficient evidence to establish that the asserted trademark possessed secondary meaning and was not functional.Brooks Kushman also convinced the Court that Mag Automotive’s false advertising theory cannot also not prevail because Mag could not prove that the Numbering System is protectable, and could not prove that Gadra Enterprises practices were deceiving. Thus, on August 7, 2018, the Court granted Gadra Enterprises’ motion ending all pending claims against Gadra Enterprises.The court also denied Mag Automotive’s motion for summary judgment on Gadra’s counter claims alleging false advertising, business and product disparagement, and tortious interference with business relationships, and allowed those claims to proceed.
Team Members include: Mark Cantor and Rebecca Cantor
JTEKT Corp. V. GKN Automotive Ltd.
Brooks Kushman Successfully Defends GKN at the Federal Circuit and PTAB
On August 3, 2018, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals found in favor of Brooks Kushman’s client GKN Automotive Ltd. (GKN) on the issue of standing after Inter Partes Review (IPR). Brooks Kushman shareholder Linda Mettes argued to the Federal Circuit that IPR petitioner JTEKT failed to establish the requisite Article III standing required to pursue an appeal of the PTAB decision against it. The Federal Circuit agreed and dismissed the appeal in a precedential opinion.The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) found that JTEKT Corp. failed to prove the obviousness of two claims related to GKN’s patent, U. S. No. 8,215,440. Brooks Kushman shareholder Sangeeta G. Shah and Kristin L. Murphy led the IPR team that resulted in this favorable PTAB decision that confirmed the patentability on important technology involving drivelines switchable between a four-wheel mode and a two-wheel mode. This technology is instrumental to GKN Automotive’s all-wheel drive Twinster ® technology.
Team members include: Linda D. Mettes, Kristin L. Murphy, Sangeeta G. Shah