Intellectual Property and Technology

We represented Cobalt Boats, which prevailed in its patent infringement lawsuit against Brunswick Corp. in Virginia federal court June 21. Cobalt sued Sea Ray Boats and its parent company Brunswick in January 2015 alleging that Brunswick infringed on Cobalt’s “retractable swim step”, a partially submerged platform that allows boat passengers to easily enter and exit the water. . The jury concluded that Brunswick’s infringement was willful and returned a $2,690,000 verdict.

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This case was being closely watched in the patent and boating industries. It was one of the first to be tried following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland, where the court found that patent suits can only be filed where a defendant is incorporated or where it has committed infringement and has a regular and established place of business. Sea Ray argued it had no ties to the Eastern District of Virginia, but in a split decision the Federal Circuit denied Brunswick’s last minute request for mandamus relief three days before trial began. The claims asserted in the litigation survived an IPR invalidity challenge by Brunswick at the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and Brunswick dropped its remaining invalidity allegations during trial.

Stinson attorneys B. Scott Eidson, Samir Mehta, Penny Slicer and Colin Turner and Troutman Sanders attorneys Robert Angle and David Gettings represented Cobalt.

At trial Cobalt proved that the claims of Cobalt’s Swim Step patent were infringed, and that the infringement was willful, meaning the jury concluded Brunswick’s behavior was particularly egregious. Because the jury found Brunswick’s infringement to be willful, the Virginia federal court may decide to enhance the verdict up to three times the $2.7 million awarded by the jury.

You can read more about this high-profile case in Boating Industry and Trade Only Today.

Since its introduction in 2010, the patented Swim Step has been a popular feature with Cobalt’s dealers and customers. The way it flips down below the surface of the water provides an easy way for people to get in and out of the water and also provides a bench-like seat on the back of the boat that gives boaters more room to enjoy the water. After it was introduced, Cobalt saw a steady increase in sales and demand for the feature, and it is now the most popular feature on Cobalt’s boats. During trial, Cobalt proved that the Swim Step feature helped it sell boats—and helped Brunswick sell its infringing boats as well.

 

Penny Slicer, Partner in Kansas City

B. Scott Eidson, Partner in St. Louis

Samir Mehta, Associate in St. Louis

Colin Turner, Associate in Kansas City

We represent Netsmart, the nation’s largest provider of behavioral health electronic health records, addiction treatment software, care coordination software and other health-related technology. We have assisted Netsmart in pursuing patent protection for its software and network technology used to provide electronic health records and other healthcare solutions.  We also counsel Netsmart in copyright protection for its software offerings.

We serve as co-counsel with Locke Lorde for Quebec-based BRP—a world leader in the design, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of motorized recreational vehicles and powersports engines distributed in over 100 countries by more than 4,200 dealers and distributors—in two dueling patent cases.

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In one case, we represent BRP in enforcing its family of patents against rival Arctic Cat, based on Arctic Cat’s introduction of a new line of snowmobiles employing the innovative rider position and frame assembly patents issued to BRP’s inventors.

In the second, we are defending a patent infringement case brought by Arctic Cat after BRP had started its own infringement litigation, in which Arctic Cat alleges infringement of patents related to controllers for ignition timing in engines. BRP is defending against Arctic Cat’s claims on all grounds, including non-infringement and invalidity.

We represent First Bank, a growing independent bank with over a century of heritage. Our team assists First Bank in the negotiation of fintech-related transactions, including contracts with core-service providers, telecom and internet vendors, and technology focused customer services.  We also provide guidance to First Bank on data security and privacy related matters.

We represent Saint Louis University, which partners with businesses in numerous industries to support scientific research. Saint Louis University accomplishes this by patenting inventions arising from university research, licensing the technologies to companies for commercialization and returning the licensing income to Saint Louis University to support further scientific endeavor. We file and prosecute U.S. and foreign patent applications directed to various technologies, including recombinant protein technologies, devices, cell culture and biomarkers, and preparation of patentability opinions.