A district court in Florida doubled the reasonable royalty rate awarded by a jury to arrive at a post-judgment royalty rate. The Court had already concluded that the jury’s royalty rate (for past damages) of $103 would set the floor on the parties’ negotiations of an ongoing rate. The Court also notes that defendant BRP conceded it continues to make and sell infringing products.
While plaintiff Arctic Cat argued for an ongoing rate of $205 (double the jury’s rate), Defendant argued that the jury rate should not be increased. The Court notes, citing Paice II (Paice LLC v. Toyota Motor Corp., 504 F.3d), that “once a judgment of validity and infringement has been entered, however, the calculus is markedly different because different economic factors are involved.” The court here had already awarded treble damages ($308 per unit), and Defendant BRP must consider that it “continues to willfully infringe” the patent-in-suit. The court also seems unimpressed that Defendant’s corporate representatives recently referred to the verdict as “unfounded” and “baseless” on several occasions, and that “such actions in fact demonstrate a lack of proper respect for the Court, the jury, and the U.S. patent system.” The Court ultimately accepts Plaintiff’s proposed ongoing rate of $205 per unit.
In considering the issue of prejudgment interest, the Court first rejects Plaintiffs position that Florida’s statutory rate should be used, noting that the case does not depend on Florida law and further that awarding state rates would encourage forum shopping. Next, the Court finds the current T-bill rate proposed by Defendants is too low. The Court also rejects both the prime rate and Plaintiff’s borrowing rates, noting that Plaintiff’s information does not indicate that its debt was connected to the infringement. The Court ultimately selects, without explanation, the T-bill rate on the 2004 date of issuance of the patent-in-suit (2.14%, somewhere between the current T-bill rate and the prime rate).
Arctic Cat Inc. v. Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc. and BRP U.S. Inc., 14-cv-62369 (S.D. FL, January 3, 2017, Order) (Bloom)