On July 3, 2012, a jury found that Escort, Inc. () and Beltronics USA, Inc. () infringed numerous claims in U.S. Patent Nos. RE39,038 and RE40,653. In particular, the jury held that Escort’s Passport 9500i, Passport 9500ix, and Passport iQ radar detectors, together with Beltronics USA’s GX65 radar detectors, directly infringe claims 3, 5, 6, 7, 25, 26, 27, and 28 of U.S. Patent No. RE39,038 (“the ‘038 patent”) and claims 22, 31, 32, 33, 38, and 41 of U.S. Patent No. RE40,653 (“the ‘653 patent”). The jury also found that Escort and Beltronics contributed to the infringement of claims 3, 5, 6, 7, 25, and 28 in the ‘038 patent and claims 22, 24, 31, 32, and 33 in the ‘653 patent. The jury further found that Escort’s Passport 9500ix and Passport iQ radar detectors, together with Beltronics USA’s GX65 radar detectors, infringe claim 24 of the ‘653 patent.
The ‘038 and the ‘653 patents are owned by Hoyt Fleming, an Idaho inventor of 37 U.S. Patents. On March 10, 2009, Mr. Fleming filed a complaint (Case Number 1:09-cv-00105-BLW, United States District Court District of Idaho) alleging that Escort and Beltronics USA infringed the ‘038 and the ‘653 patents. Escort alleged that certain claims of the Fleming patents were invalid because Steven Orr, while working for Cincinnati Microwave, Inc. in 1996, made Fleming’s invention earlier in time than Fleming. On July 3, 2012, after a trial spanning more than two-weeks that included live testimony from Steven Orr, John Kuhn (Escort’s Vice President of Engineering), and John Larson (Escort’s President), the jury refused to invalidate the above claims of the Fleming patents based upon Steven Orr’s alleged prior work.
“I am very happy with the jury’s verdict because the jury held that Escort and Beltronics are infringing two of my patents. I am looking forward to a future trial in which another jury will also find that Escort and Beltronics and many of their retailers, including Best Buy and Amazon.com, are willfully infringing a third of my radar detector patents, U.S. Patent No. RE41,905,” said Mr. Fleming. Mr. Fleming is represented by Mr. Michael S. Dowler ofPark, Vaughan, Fleming, and Dowler LLP in Houston, Texas. Escort and Beltronics USA are represented by Gregory F. Ahrens and Brett A. Schatz and of Wood Herron & Evans in Cincinnati, OH together with Steven B. Andersen of Holland and Hart in Boise, ID.