Flambeau Inc. Obtains Victory in Patent Lawsuit

Flambeau Inc. has obtained a complete victory in a patent litigation case against eTAGZ Inc. On December 13, the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah ruled from the bench that all patent claims against Flambeau by eTAGZ Inc. are invalid.

eTAGZ had accused a number of Flambeau’s Duncan Toy Co.‘s products and Flambeau Outdoors products of infringing 81 claims in three related patents. As part of its patent enforcement program, eTAGZ sued more than 40 other entities in a long string of lawsuits over these same patents, and it sent a large number of pre-litigation demands for licensing fees to others. As of the time of the ruling, several lawsuits were still pending against other parties on the patents at issue in the case.

Flambeau was represented in the lawsuit by the law firm Quarles & Brady LLP of Madison, Wis., and the team of Josephine Benkers, Michael J. Curley, Martha Jahn Snyder, Stacey A. Alexejun, and Anthony A. Tomaselli of Quarles & Brady, with the assistance of David Bennion of Parsons, Behle & Latimer as local counsel.

Ruling Issued in Hasbro Arbitration

Hasbro logoPreviously, inventor licensor Johnson Research had brought claims against Hasbro based on two licensing agreements between the parties. One license agreement related to certain products included in Hasbro’s Super Soaker product line, while the other related to certain products included in Hasbro’s Nerf product line.

Johnson Research claimed that the license agreements require the payment of royalties by Hasbro on a significantly greater number of products in each of those respective product lines than the company believed was the case. The claims related to the Nerf products were pursued by the licensor in binding arbitration in Atlanta as was required by the license.

Johnson Research made a demand for arbitration with respect to the Nerf claims, and on October 29, the arbitrator issued a ruling awarding a total of $72,932,686, including damages, interest, fees and expenses, to the licensor. In connection with this ruling and applicable accounting requirements, Hasbro anticipates taking an additional charge to its earnings for the fiscal quarter that ended September 29. The company is currently assessing the impact to third quarter results and it will be reflected in its Form 10-Q for that same period.