Foley Wins Appeal for Emerson Electric Co.

20 August 2015 Media Contact: Jill Chanen News

Foley's IP Litigation team secured a victory for longtime firm client Emerson Electric Co. in an appellate case brought by plaintiff ABT Systems, LLC.

Stemming back to 2013, the patent case began when ABT sued Emerson in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,547,017 ("the '017 patent"). The technology involved in the '017 patent relates to heating, ventilation, and air conditioning ("HVAC") systems. Eventually, the case was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and proceeded to trial before a jury. Following trial, the jury found the asserted claims not invalid by reason of obviousness and infringed by Emerson's "Big Blue" thermostats. Based on a royalty rate of $2.25 per unit, the jury awarded damages in the amount of $311,379 on sales of 138,891 thermostats.

ABT Systems appealed the damages award from that case and Emerson appealed on patent validity grounds. Today, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed with Emerson, finding that the patent was indeed invalid, and that ABT Systems is no longer entitled to the damages award.

The Foley team was led by partner Linda Hansen and included partners Jeff Costakos and Kadie Jelenchick.

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