Fish & Richardson Wins Permanent Injunction, Treble Damages, and Attorneys' Fees for the Chamberlain Group

Fish & Richardson recently won a permanent injunction, treble damages and attorneys' fees for the Chamberlain Group (CGI), an industry leader in the garage door industry, following an August 2017 jury verdict finding that Ryobi and Techtronic Industries (TTI) willfully infringed two of CGI's patents. On May 23, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted CGI's request for a permanent injunction blocking the sale of Ryobi connected garage door openers (models GD200 and GD200A) and similar garage door openers until 2023. Ryobi products are produced by Hong Kong-based TTI, the parent company to brands Ryobi, Milwaukee, Hoover, Oreck, and others.

The court also awarded CGI $11 million in enhanced damages as well as attorneys' fees and costs, finding that the "case was not close" and that TTI did nothing to avoid a "head-on" collision with CGI's patents. The court noted CGI's "broad GDO [Garage Door Opener] related patent portfolio" and that "TTI's infringing behavior has spanned the whole of TTI's participation in the GDO marketplace."

With over 400 patents worldwide, CGI invests substantial resources into innovation around the areas of safety, security, and connectivity. One of the infringed patents related to core garage door open connectivity technology, the inventor of which is one of Chicago’s most prolific inventors, Jim Fitzgibbon, and the other patent covered the use of a battery from power tools as a back-up battery for garage door openers.

"We are thrilled that we could deliver this important post jury win to our client," said Fish & Richardson principal Ben Elacqua, one of CGI's lead counsel. "Our client's commitment to innovation in the industry is unmatched, and protecting their intellectual property allows them to continue to raise the bar for the entire industry. There is no better outcome than winning a permanent injunction and attorneys' fees to deter future infringers."

In addition to Fish's Elacqua, the trial team was led by Winston & Strawn partners Kathi Vidal, George Lombardi and Michael Rueckheim. Winston associates Matt McCullough and Shanna Lehrman were also on the team. Susan Bell, general counsel of the Chamberlain Group, guided the litigation strategy from beginning to end.