The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) has recently affirmed a jury verdict and judgement of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois in favour of Kubota in a patent case brought by John Deere.
On March 31, 1999, Deere filed a lawsuit against Kubota Corporation and Kubota Tractor Corporation before the Federal District Court in Illinois claiming that the implement suspension mechanisms of Kubota’s TG1860-series lawn and garden tractors and of other models (B-, BX-, and New G-series) infringe a patent owned by Deere.
On April 5, 2002, following a two-week trial, the jury rejected Deere’s arguments and issued a verdict that Kubota’s implement suspension mechanisms did not infringe Deere’s patent. The District Court later affirmed the jury’s verdict and issued a final judgement in favour of Kubota.
Deere initiated the lawsuit with a public statement accusing Kubota of copying Deere’s technology. The jury’s verdict of non-infringement, affirmed by the District Court, rejected Deere’s claim and fully supported Kubota’s position.
Dissatisfied with the District Court’s ruling, Deere filed an appeal with the CAFC on September 9, 2002.
After filing written briefs with the CAFC, both parties presented oral arguments to the CAFC in Washington, D.C. on July 8, 2003.
The CAFC, in a swift and summary decision, affirmed the jury verdict and the District Court’s judgement, rejecting Deere’s appeal and confirming the validity of Kubota’s position.