A U.S. unit of Robert Bosch GmbH, the German auto-parts maker, won a ruling from a jury today that rival Pylon Manufacturing Corp. infringed one of its valid patents for high-performance windshield wipers.
The federal court jury in Wilmington, Delaware, deliberated about five hours after a six-day trial before also deciding that some claims of two other Bosch wiper patents are invalid because the inventions obviously weren’t new.
Pylon copied Bosch’s wiper because it “wanted to capitalize” on Bosch’s success, Bosch attorney Mark Hannemann told the jury of seven women and three men during the trial.
Pylon lawyer Gregory Hillyer told the jury that the patents were invalid because the inventions weren’t innovative and that Pylon’s products didn’t have the same features as Bosch’s did. “The patents should never have been issued,” he said.
Lawyers on both sides declined to comment after the verdict. Bosch spokeswoman Cheryl Kilborn didn’t immediately return phone messages seeking comment. Pylon officials weren’t immediately available to comment.
Bosch sued Pylon, a subsidiary of Deerfield Beach, Florida- based Qualitor Inc., in 2008 for using protected inventions for wipers that more efficiently clear curved windshields and resist lifting at high speed due to the wind.
Bosch, based in Stuttgart, Germany, is a world leader in auto parts. Pylon distributes its wipers under the Toyota and Michelin brands to retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., according to court documents.
The trial was supervised by U.S. District Judge Sue L. Robinson, who will hear post-trial motions on the verdict later. A trial on damages hasn’t yet been scheduled.
The case is Robert Bosch LLC v. Pylon Manufacturing Corp., 08CV542, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).
To see the patents in the case: 6,944,905; 6,675,434; and 6,292,974.