Provisur® Technologies, Inc., a leading global provider of high-performance food processing equipment, won a major patent infringement case against Weber, Inc. late last year for willfully infringing multiple food slicer patents. In January 2023, the court doubled the damages award.
After deliberating for just four hours, the jury found that Weber willfully infringed multiple food slicing patents held by Provisur and awarded the company $10.5 million in damages. Missouri U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough doubled the damages to $21 million noting that Weber’s “systemic misconduct transcended that of a garden-variety infringer.” To support the enhanced damages, Judge Bough also said Weber “intentionally copied the plaintiff’s patented ideas” and “this case did not involve close issues on validity, infringement or damages.”
Provisur filed suit in February 2019 stating that Weber infringed several food processing patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from November 2001 to December 2012. The complaint stated Weber willfully infringed the patents by incorporating the technology into their meat and cheese slicers and the Weber SmartLoader.
The evidence presented at the trial supported findings that:
- Weber intentionally developed products with Provisur’s technology
- Weber did not undertake a good faith effort to determine if the patents were invalid
These two key factors, in addition to the length of Weber’s infringement, its failure to take remedial action, and their motivation to harm a competitor supported enhanced damages.
Provisur invests heavily in new product development and is consistently rated among the most innovative companies by Crain’s Chicago Business.