Meyer Intellectual Props., Ltd. v. Bodum, Inc., No. 11-1329 (Fed. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Brady, the sole inventor of the 087 and 122 patents, was, from 1986-1996, an independent sales representative for Bodum, a company that designs and sells housewares products, including coffee makers, milk frothers, and other kitchen products. He conceived of a frother using aeration instead of steam in the mid-1990s, introduced it at a 1996 trade show, and began selling frothers through his company BonJour. In 1996, Brady filed a patent application directed to a “Method for Frothing Liquids,” which became the 087 Patent, issued in 1998. While the application was pending, Brady filed a continuation application that later became the 122 patent, that issued in 1999. In 2005 Brady sold Bonjour and the patents to Meyer. Meyer sued Bodum for infringement. The district court granted Meyer summary judgment after prohibiting Bodum from: introducing and relying on prior art; presenting testimony relating to that prior art; and introducing evidence to support inequitable conduct claims. The jury determined that the patents were not invalid, found that Bodum’s infringement was willful, and awarded Meyer damages of $50,000. The court awarded Meyer attorney fees of $906,487.56. The federal circuit reversed.