The Lincoln Journal Star reports a jury has awarded lawnmower maker Exmark nearly $24.3 million in a patent infringement. Exmark filed a lawsuit in 2010 alleging that Briggs & Stratton and Schiller Grounds Care were manufacturing mowers that infringed on one of its patents. The jury award was against Briggs & Stratton. A trial date has been not been set yet against Schiller Grounds Care.
According to the report:
The patent at issue covered multiblade mowers equipped with baffles between blades that allow the mower to be converted from a mulching to a side-discharge mower.
The jury in the trial in U.S. District Court decided that Briggs & Stratton Power Products Group willfully infringed on Exmark's patent for the design. However, the jury ruled that redesigned versions of the mowers did not infringe on the patent. It awarded $24,280,300 in damages.
"We work hard to develop innovative products and solutions to help our customers and vigorously protect and defend our patents and other intellectual property rights," said Branden Happel, a spokesperson for Exmark.
Laura Timm, vice president of corporate communications and public affairs for Briggs & Stratton, said the company strongly disagrees with the verdict and intends to "vigorously pursue its rights through post-trial motions and, if necessary, on appeal."