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A Bump in the Road: Caterpillar Ordered to Pay Wirtgen $12.9 Million in Patent Trial


March 28, 2024

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The federal jury of a U.S. District Court in Delaware reportedly awarded Wirtgen America Inc. (“Wirtgen”) $12.9 million in damages for patent infringement related to road-construction technology.


The damages were awarded as a result of Wirtgen and Caterpillar Inc.’s longstanding dispute concerning several patented road-milling machines used to remove and level asphalt and concrete surfaces.


While Caterpillar Inc. claimed that it did not use Wirtgen’s patented technology and, in fact, countersued, alleging that Wirtgen actually infringed on its own patents, the jury sided with Wirtgen and a further determination that Caterpillar Inc. willfully infringed supported an enhanced damages award.


Although the U.S. International Trade Commission banned the import of Caterpillar’s road-milling machines in 2019 pursuant to separate allegations from Wirtgen, U.S. Customs and Border Protection began permitting remodelled versions to roll back into the country as of 2021.


In light of the decision, Caterpillar Inc.’s representative reportedly stated the company will be considering its legal options moving forward.

 

Authors: Ayesha Khanna and Kasia Donovan

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