March 19, 2008

Faegre & Benson Wins RFID Patent Infringement Case for Target

Faegre & Benson LLP successfully defended Target Corporation in a patent infringement suit over the retail company's use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology for inventory control.

In a decision issued March 19, 2008 by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Target obtained final judgment of non-infringement against plaintiff RFID Tracker, Ltd. Filing suit in the Eastern District of Texas is a common tactic used by patent infringement plaintiffs in part because of the speed in which patent cases can be tried there.

The original suit named several defendant companies, many of whom settled with the plaintiff early on. However, Target, Wal-Mart and Gillette (a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble) decided to defend the case.

After a pre-trial Markman hearing in January addressing the language of the patent was favorable to the defendants, the plaintiff conceded that it could not prove infringement and that final judgment in the defendants' favor was warranted. An appeal by the plaintiff to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is still possible.

"A key factor in our success in this case was the high degree of cooperation between the defendants," commented Ken Liebman, chair of Faegre & Benson's intellectual property practice and lead counsel for Target on this matter. "The three defendants litigated this case as if we were one team."

The Faegre & Benson litigation team representing Target on this matter also included James R. Steffen, James W. Poradek, Robert B. Leonard, Shawn T. Gordon and Timothy J. Cruz.

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