Case Studies

Bendix and Knorr-Bremse

Partners Mark Supko and Jeff Sanok.
Former counsel Jennifer Burdman and
Bill Sauers.
Associates Craig Lytle, Vince Galluzzo, and former associate Amir Katz.
Practice Support: April Stillwell and
Tiffany Tucker.

What Our Clients Say:
"The Crowell & Moring trial team executed an impressive command of the facts, the law and most importantly, the courtroom, quickly establishing respect with the jury that led to a resounding victory in a patent infringement trial against one of our major competitors."

- D. Russell Hood, Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC

Putting the brakes on patent infringement

Clients Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Knorr-Bremse Systeme fur Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH, and Bendix Spicer Foundation Brake were confronted by a competitor, Haldex Brake Products. Haldex wanted to take advantage of anticipated rapid growth in the U.S. market for air disk brakes used on commercial vehicles by offering a competing brake that used design features that were invented and popularized by our clients.

We filed a patent infringement suit to halt Haldex’s entry into the air disk brake market. Because a settlement based on a royalty-bearing license would not have served the clients’ business objectives, we pushed the case towards trial. After securing a claim construction ruling in our favor and fending off summary judgment of invalidity, the case went to a jury trial.

The jury unanimously found that Haldex had willfully infringed Knorr-Bremse’s patent rights and awarded more than twice the compensatory damages we requested, and even asked if it could award more. More importantly, the court granted a permanent injunction against future infringement. In addition, the court trebled the jury’s damages award and awarded our clients more than $2.5 million in attorney fees.