KOHLER — The
Kohler Co. has been ordered in federal court to pay $9.6 million
to a Massachusetts manufacturer for infringing on two of its
patents for components that reduce exhaust emissions in marine
Jurors in U.S.
District Court in Boston last week found Kohler willfully
infringed on the patents issued in 2008 and 2010. They are owned
by an affiliate of the Westerbeke Corp., which accused Kohler of
infringing on both patents with several models of its low carbon
monoxide marine generators.
Kohler denied the
allegations and filed a counterclaim seeking to declare
Westerbeke's patents invalid because the technology would have
been "obvious to one of ordinary skill," according to
Todd Weber said the company still believes the technology used in
its generators was "well known and in the public domain"
and was developed years ago by the automotive industry to reduce
nothing novel about using this known technology on a marine
generator," Weber said.
Weber said Kohler
will ask the court to modify the jury's verdict and will file
appeals on "any remaining issues on infringement and
lawsuit, filed more than two years ago, went to trial earlier this
month, with Westerbeke seeking to recoup damages and costs, along
with an injunction prohibiting further patent infringement,
according to The Sheboygan Press (http://shebpr.es/12SlQp5).
Westerbeke was due royalties worth 13.5 percent of Kohler's gross
sales on its marine generators, according to court records.