ADASA Inc. Again Wins Patent Trial Against Avery Dennison Corp., This Time for Validity
On July 18, 2023, the law firm of Friedman, Suder & Cooke in Fort Worth, Texas once again obtained a unanimous jury verdict in Eugene, Oregon Federal Court against Avery Dennison Corp. (AVY: NYSE). In the prior trial, the jury found that Avery Dennison infringed the ‘967 Patent and awarded substantial damages. The final judgment from that trial also included attorneys’ fees, an on-going royalty, and a substantial sanction for litigation misconduct. In the second trial the only issue was Avery Dennison’s affirmative defense of invalidity which was rejected by the unanimous jury. The only issue that remains in this six-plus year saga is the amount of sanctions. The award of sanctions was previously affirmed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.
The invention of the ‘967 patent claimed a novel design for RFID transponders (“RFID Tags”) to ensure uniqueness by improving the functionality of the binary data structure within the RFID Tag. The inventor of the ‘967 Patent, Clarke McAllister, graduated from Purdue with a degree in Electrical Engineering and has spent his decades-long career focused on invention and productization relating to RFID technology. Mr. McAllister is the inventor on 18 patents, many of which have been assigned to his company, ADASA Inc. ADASA has been in the RFID business since 2004 and previously manufactured and sold mobile RFID encoders. Currently ADASA is focusing on implementing RFID in conjunction with robotics and drones.
Lead counsel for ADASA, Jonathan Suder, again argued how the case was about respect, which the jury verdict validated. “Clarke McAllister is a true inventor. He trusted the patent system and it has been a long and difficult road to receive the recognition for his contribution to RFID. Our constitution is designed to promote and protect inventors and their inventions. Clarke tried to meet with representatives of Avery Dennison in 2013 but they were dismissive of him and his invention and told him to leave their customers alone. As Clarke found ever increasing use of his invention by others, he had no choice but to file this lawsuit. This second verdict, from the District of Oregon, reaffirms that all inventors must be respected, no matter how big or small they are.”
“Clarke is the epitome of the type of inventor that our patent system is designed to protect,” Glenn Orman, Suder’s law partner on the case said. “Sometimes it is not easy for an individual inventor to stand up to a company using his or her invention. We are proud to represent Mr. McAllister and are very happy that the jury recognized the significant contributions he made to his industry.”
The case was tried before The Honorable Judge Mustafa T. Kasubhai and styled ADASA Inc. v. Avery Dennison Corporation, Case Number 6:17-cv-01685-MK. In this trial, Avery Dennison was represented by the Benesch and Quinn Emanuel law firms.
With Suder and Orman for Friedman, Suder & Cooke was Richard Wojcio, Jr., as well as Alan Thayer of Innovative Law Group in Eugene, Oregon.