Rasmussen Instruments, LLC v. DePuy Synthes Products, Inc. et al. (D. Mass. 20-cv-11807).

  • April 7, 2023

After a jury trial which found that DePuy willfully infringed one of two asserted patents relating to knee replacement surgical tools and awarded $20 million in damages, Rasmussen moved for enhanced damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284, attorney’s fees and costs, for prejudgment interest, and for a permanent injunction.  Judge Hillman granted this motion in part and denied in part.  With respect to enhanced damages, he noted that they are restricted to cases of egregious infringing behavior, and that a finding of willfulness is a prerequisite but is not standing alone sufficient to justify the award.  He pointed the split verdict and the split of rulings on various pretrial and trial motions as evidence that DePuy’s behavior was not egregious.  Accordingly, he declined to enhance the damage award.  Judge Hillman also declined to deem the case exceptional so as to warrant an award of attorney’s fees, for essentially the same reasons.

Judge Hillman granted the motion with respect to prejudgment interest totaling $392,959.  This was based on quarterly compounding at the prime interest rate from the filing of the complaint to the close of evidence.  He also granted a permanent injunction, finding that DePuy’s removal of the accused product from the market on the eve of trial did not alleviate the irreparable harm to Rasmussen from its having been marketed in the first place, and that the balance of hardships weighs greatly in Rasmussen’s favor, as Rasmussen is a one-person company while DePuy is a large international business with a broad range of products.

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