What started as a single patent infringement action in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, and morphed into international litigation in four countries on three continents, was successfully resolved by Kilpatrick Townsend for client Kennametal Inc. after four years of intense litigation.
Kennametal Inc. and Sandvik AB are the top two companies in the global market for coated metal cutting tools. In 2009, Sandvik Intellectual Property AB filed a patent infringement suit against Kennametal in Asheville, North Carolina and Kennametal hired attorneys in our Winston-Salem office to defend it. We were able to get the case transferred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) to the Western District of Pennsylvania, Kennametal’s home venue, where Kilpatrick Townsend in the interim had filed a patent infringement suit on behalf of Kennametal against Sandvik. Thereafter, Sandvik elected to expand the litigation by commencing suit on similar foreign patents in the United Kingdom, Germany, and China. The United States litigation was handled by Dan Taylor, Steve Moore, Jason Link, Jason Wenker, and Dean Powell, and they coordinated the defense of the UK, Germany and China litigation as well.
The litigation was hotly contested and illustrates both Kilpatrick Townsend’s technical expertise and its litigation ability. In addition to obtaining an admission from Sandvik’s inventor that he failed to perform key experiments listed in the patent, Kennametal was awarded attorney’s fees for Sandvik’s blatant stonewalling in the discovery process. Thereafter, Kilpatrick Townsend was successful in achieving a ruling that Sandvik's U.S. patent was invalid, and contributed to achieving similar rulings of invalidity in the United Kingdom and Germany. After protracted negotiations over many months, the parties were able to resolve all claims. While the terms and conditions related to settlement are confidential, Kennametal was extremely pleased. The matter is but another example of Kilpatrick Townsend’s ability to handle protracted and technical global litigation successfully.