Patent Infringement Cases
Individual inventors can face significant challenges when it comes to protecting their patents and enforcing their rights, as they may lack the resources and legal expertise of larger companies. However, patent law provides strong protections for inventors, and with the help of a skilled attorney, individual inventors can successfully assert their rights and secure damages for patent infringement. Here are some examples of notable patent infringement cases involving individual inventors:
L.A. Gear, Inc. v. Thom McAn Shoe Co.: In 1992, inventor Robert Zechel sued shoe company Thom McAn for infringing on his patent for a shoe design with a built-in air pump for a customized fit. The case went to trial, and Zechel was awarded $52 million in damages. The Federal Circuit affirmed the trial court’s ruling of liability. L.A. Gear, Inc. v. Thom McAn Shoe Co., 988 F.2d 1117 (Fed. Cir. 1993)
Honeywell v. Nest: In 2012, Honeywell sued Nest Labs, a company founded by inventor Tony Fadell, alleging that Nest’s smart thermostat infringed on Honeywell’s thermostat patents. The case was settled in 2014, with Nest agreeing to pay Honeywell an undisclosed amount and to license some of Honeywell’s patents.
Advanced Fiber Technologies v. J&L Fiber Services: In 2011, inventor Allen Hershkowitz sued J&L Fiber Services for infringing on his patent related to a process for making recycled paper. The case went to trial, and Hershkowitz was awarded $8 million in damages.
Koito v. Hella: In 2018, inventor Shoichiro Eguchi sued Hella, a German automotive lighting company, for infringing on his patent related to LED headlight technology. The case went to trial, and Eguchi was awarded $34 million in damages.
ResQNet v. Lansa: In 2012, inventor Bruce Kramer sued software company Lansa for infringing on his patent related to a system for generating computer code. The case went to trial, and Kramer was awarded $5 million in damages.
Conk v. Haas Outdoors, Inc. et al.: A case litigated in the Federal District Court in Utah. In 2012, inventor Nathan Conk sued several outdoor gear retailers for infringing on his patents related to camouflage designs. Conk settled his claims with several defendants for an undisclosed amount before dismissing it regarding the other defendants—Case No. 2:10-CV-00005-DN.