Provisur Technologies, Inc. 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.
Reportedly, after 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 that, “this case did not involve close issues on validity, infringement or damages.”
The company 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 that Weber willfully infringed the patents by incorporating the technology into its meat and cheese slicers and the Weber SmartLoader.
According to Provisur, the evidence presented at the trial supported findings that Weber intentionally developed products with its technology and did not undertake a good faith effort to determine if the patents were valid. It is reported that these two key factors, in addition to the length of Weber’s infringement, its failure to take remedial action and its motivation to harm a competitor supported the case for enhanced damages.