United States District Court, S.D. New York
January 12, 2005.
ROMAG FASTENERS, INC., Plaintiff,
MITZI INTERNATIONAL HANDBAG AND ACCESSORIES, LTD., Defendant.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: LEWIS KAPLAN, District Judge
The jury in this case found on December 2, 2004 that the
defendant willfully infringed plaintiff's `126 patent and awarded
damages of $4.5 million. On December 16, plaintiff filed a
post-trial memorandum in support of its application for enhanced
damages, attorneys fees, prejudgment interest and injunctive
relief. Apart from a somewhat tendentious letter noting that
plaintiff had not filed a motion, as distinct from its post-trial
memorandum, and implying that this somehow excused defendant from
responding to the application unless and until such a motion was
filed, defendant has not responded. As the post-trial memorandum
"state[s] with particularity the grounds therefore, and . . .
set[s] forth the relief . . . sought," see Fed.R.Civ.P.
7(b)(1), it is a motion. While it does not conform to the usual
form in this District, which employs notices of motion, it is
identical in substance. Hence, the Court does not regard the lack
of a notice of motion or motion separate from the post-trial
memorandum as significant.
Turning to the merits, plaintiff's memorandum correctly notes
that a finding of willful infringement alone supports an enhanced
damage award and correctly identifies the other relevant factors.
Pl. Mem. 3. Here, the relevant factors cut both ways. In
plaintiff's favor are the fact that defendant deliberately copied
the design, that its litigation behavior was somewhat
obstructive, and that some efforts were made to conceal the
infringement. Moreover, its invalidity defense bordered on the
frivolous On the other hand, this was not even remotely a clear
case of infringement. While the Court probably would not have set
aside the verdict as against the weight of the evidence had
defendant sought such relief, it remains convinced that the
defendant had much the better of that argument. While the
ultimate call was for the jury, the Court certainly is entitled
to take this view into account in determining whether and to what
extent damages should be enhanced. In all the circumstances, the
Court finds enhancement by one third appropriate and fixes
damages at $6.0 million. Plaintiff next seeks attorneys' fee and expenses on the theory
that this is an exceptional case. Given the findings of willful
infringement and litigation misconduct, the Court so finds. As
the plaintiff's claim for $389,758 in fees and $39,162.23 in
expenses is both modest for this sort of case and undisputed, it
awards attorneys' fees and expenses in the total amount of
Third, plaintiff is entitled to prejudgment interest under
31 U.S.C. § 284 absent some justification for different result. The
Court finds no such justification and awards prejudgment interest
at the appropriate rate on the sums listed from the dates
April 30, 2000 $1,269,938
April 30, 2001 $1,490,798
April 30, 2002 $1,159,509
October 31, 2002 $ 579,755
The rates applicable from time to time shall be determined in
accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 1961.
Finally, plaintiff is entitled to an injunction under
35 U.S.C. § 283. There has been no objection to the form of injunction
attached as Exhibit F to the joint pretrial order.
Accordingly, plaintiff's application is granted to the
1. Plaintiff shall recover of defendant damages in the amount
of $6.0 million together with attorneys' fees and expenses of
$428,920.23 and prejudgment interest in an amount to be computed
by the Clerk in accordance with this order.
2. Plaintiff shall have an injunction in the form attached as
Exhibit F to the joint pretrial order.
The Clerk shall prepare and enter final judgment accordingly.
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