In a stunning victory on September 15, 2003, a federal jury handed Group One, Ltd. an $8.9 million patent infringement win against Kansas City-based Hallmark Cards Inc.
Group One sued Hallmark in September 1997 for patent infringement and trade secret misappropriation. At issue were Group One’s patents for a ribbon curling machine. In 1999, Hallmark successfully moved to have the patents declared invalid. Baker Botts then stepped in and succeeded in having the invalidity ruling reversed in a precedent-setting decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The case was returned to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri for further proceedings. A jury trial began in Kansas City on September 2, 2003.
Following a 10-day trial and nine hours of deliberations, the jury sided in favor of Group One, finding the patents in question to be valid and willfully infringed by Hallmark. Group One was awarded damages in the amount of $8.9 million.
The Baker Botts lawyers representing Group One were Bob Neuner, Neil Sirota, Karen Wuertz and Eric Roman, all from the Baker Botts New York office. Local counsel was Patrick Lysaught of Baker, Sterchi, Cowden and Rice.
Representing Hallmark were Norman C. Kleinberg, Jeff H. Galloway and Peter Sullivan of Hughes, Hubbard & Reed; Michael Florey of Fish & Richardson; and Michael Thompson and David L. Rein, Jr. of Blackwell, Sanders Peper Martin.
Group One is a British company whose business involves the creation and licensing of innovative ribbon curling devices. The company holds 13 U.S. patents and numerous other patents worldwide in the field of ribbon curling products and processes.
Baker Botts is a leading international law firm, recognized for its energy, intellectual property, corporate and trial practices. Founded in 1840, Baker Botts has more than 650 lawyers with offices in Austin, Baku, Dallas, Houston, London, Moscow, New York, Riyadh and Washington.