On October 28, Willkie secured a willful patent infringement jury verdict on behalf of food processing equipment manufacturer Provisur Technologies Inc. in a lawsuit against competitors Weber Maschinenebau GMBH and Weber, Inc. The verdict followed a nine-day trial in United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri.
Jurors determined that Weber willfully infringed nine claims of three Provisur patents covering food processing equipment technology and awarded $10.5 million in damages, subject to trebling and attorneys’ fees.
“Provisur makes a significant investment in its research and development and its intellectual property,” said Craig C. Martin, who led the Willkie team. “With Weber’s admission during trial that it has attempted to design around at least one of Provisur’s patents, and a German court’s prior ruling of Weber’s infringement of another Provisur patent, it appears that Weber has been engaged in systematic infringement of Provisur’s intellectual property. We’re obviously pleased that the jury agreed.”
This is the first of the Provisur patent infringement lawsuits to go to trial. Provisur initiated the case in Kansas City and parallel infringement cases in Germany in early 2019. In Germany, Weber has been found to infringe one of Provisur’s EU patents, and has been enjoined from manufacturing or selling one of its key products. Provisur and Weber are also engaged in proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, as well as a number of ongoing patent infringement disputes in the U.S., Germany and the EU related to Provisur’s patents.
Based in Mokena, IL, Provisur is a leading global provider of high-performance food processing equipment. The company is routinely lauded for its innovation and was most recently listed in Crain’s Chicago Business as being among the Top Ten Most Innovative Companies in 2022.
The Willkie trial team was led by partner Craig C. Martin and included partners Sara Tonnies Horton, Michael Babbitt, Matt Basil and Heather Schneider, as well as associates Ren-How Harn, Patrick Conlon, Henry Thomas, Samuel Gamer, Mitchell Feldhake, Lillian Gaines, Adriana Morton and Jason Zaccaro.