Lost Profits Not Recoverable For Convoyed Sales Without Adequate Relationship Between Components
In American Seating Co. v. USSC Group, Inc. (Nos. 2007-1112, 2007-1135; January 29, 2008), the Federal Circuit affirms, inter alia, a motion for judgment as a matter of law setting aside a portion of a jury verdict compensating patentee American Seating for convoyed sales of passenger seats related to USSC's infringement of a patent for an ADA-compliant, wheelchair restraint device for mass transit vehicles.
The Court observes that a "patentee may recover lost profits on unpatented components sold with a patented item, a convoyed sale, if both the patented and unpatented products 'together were considered to be components of a single assembly or parts of a complete machine, or they together constituted a functional unit.'" Reviewing the evidence, the Court notes that the patent does not cover passenger seats, the restraint device operates independently of the passenger seats, and bus buyers do not require passenger seats and restraint devices be purchased from the same company. Thus, without an interrelated or functional relationship between the seats and the restraint device, the Court finds that "the district court was correct that the jury has no basis to conclude that lost profits on collateral sales of passenger seats were due American Seating."
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