Our client, AP Racing (a subsidiary of the world’s leading motorsport and performance car brake manufacturer, Freni Brembo), brought a claim for patent infringement against Alcon Components Limited. AP Racing’s patent protects its leading RadiCal family of calipers, released in 2007. Alcon introduced a similar range in 2009, which were taken up by a number of NASCAR teams.
Kempner & Partners has secured a landmark £500,000 patent infringement damages award for AP Racing.
The case wasn’t straightforward. The team faced a number of hurdles in securing the victory, including the fact that all of Alcon’s sales were made in the US and not the UK, and the patent was initially held to be invalid. Their first claim was successful in 2014 when the Court of Appeal ruled to prevent Alcon from further manufacture of the calipers. AP Racing pursued financial compensation for its losses, and HHJ Hacon in the IPEC ruled in January 2016 that every single caliper sale by Alcon’s US distributor made after the publication of the patent, represented a lost sale for AP Racing, and awarded landmark damages of just under £500,000, plus interests and costs. We understand that this is the highest level of damages ever awarded in the IPEC.
Kempner & Partners have also brought a second action against Alcon for infringement by selling other calipers. Alcon applied for that case to be struck out, but we were successful in IPEC and the subsequent appeal to the High Court (March 2016). Two of the decisions are now the leading authorities in respect of added matter in patent amendments (Court of Appeal decision of 2014) and the circumstances in which a patentee can commence a second set of proceedings against the same defendant in respect of alleged infringements which occurred before or during the period of a first set of infringement proceedings (High Court 2016).