Fish & Richardson Wins $12.5 Million Jury Award and Willful Infringement for CH2O in Patent Infringement Case

Fish & Richardson announced that it won a $12.5 million jury award for client CH2O in a patent infringement lawsuit CH2O brought against Meras Engineering, Inc. and Houweling's Nurseries d/b/a Houweling's Tomatoes. On September 6, 2016, a U.S. District Court for the Central District of California jury found that CH2O's '470 patent, which covers a method of treating flowing water in a water distribution system, was valid and willfully infringed by Meras and Houweling, which may multiply CH2O's damages award up to three times. The jury also found that Meras induced infringement of CH2O's patent.

CH2O sued competitor Meras for patent infringement in November 2013 after Meras knowingly used CH2O's patented technology to treat irrigation water without compensation. The litigation was stayed after Meras requested that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office reexamine the '470 patent, which it did. In 2014, the USPTO concluded that the '470 patent is valid and enforceable. CH2O added Meras' client Houweling's Nurseries, a large greenhouse tomato grower, as a defendant in September 2015.

"It's been a long ordeal but we are extremely gratified that the jury agreed with us on all issues," said Carl Iverson, CH2O's Chief Executive Officer and inventor of the '470 patent. "This award recognizes the value of the patented technology, especially in irrigation systems, and it allows us to continue innovating and creating new products to protect health, safety, and the environment."

"We are extremely pleased with the jury's verdict. Meras took a shortcut into the market by taking CH2O's patented technology and some of its key employees," said Christopher Marchese, the Fish & Richardson principal who led the case. "CH2O gave both defendants ample opportunity to stopinfringing its patent, but they continued to use the technology and didn't stop. This caused significant damage to CH2O, which lost money and market share."

In addition to Marchese, the Fish team representing CH2O included principals Andrew Kopsidas and Michael Rosen, and associate Joanna Fuller.

CH2O, Inc. is based in Olympia, Washington with subsidiaries in Canada, Mexico, and Europe. The company is a leader in developing innovative products to treat water in a variety of industrial, food processing, and agricultural applications to conserve resources, preserve equipment, and improve water safety.