Kanga Care LLC v. BumBum Babies, LLC, No. 1-22-cv-00009 (S.D. Ga., Oct. 25, 2022)
Kanga Care LLC was awarded trebled damages and a permanent injunction against Georgia-based BumBum Babies for infringement of its double-gusseted cloth diaper patent. However, the Southern District found a lack of evidence sufficient to determine an appropriate royalty.
On October 25, 2022, Judge J. Randall Hall of the Southern District of Georgia, Augusta Division, granted in part and denied in part Kanga Care’s motion for default judgment after the Defendant repeatedly failed to obtain counsel. Based on the Plaintiff’s well-pleaded Complaint, the Court found direct infringement of Kanga Care’s patent and induced infringement stemming from the instructions within the “BumBum Babies Insert Trial Pack.”
Notwithstanding default, the Court rejected the Plaintiff’s approach to calculating a reasonable royalty. The Plaintiff’s hypothetical negotiation method to royalty calculation compared the Plaintiff’s diaper prices to the Defendant’s competitively priced diapers based its royalty on the difference between the two. A similar calculation was rejected in Bernhardt LLC v. Collezione Europa USA, Inc., 436 F. Supp.2d 739, 740 (M.D. N.C. 2006). Seeking evidentiary support, the Court ordered Plaintiff to submit a new motion for damages in line with the Georgia-Pacific factors, such as expert or witness affidavits. Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. United States Plywood Corp., 318 F. Supp. 1116, 1119-20 (S.D.N.Y. 1970).
Despite the Court’s search for a royalties re-calculation, the Court nonetheless granted enhanced damages and attorney’s fees due to the Defendant’s willful conduct. As alleged and admitted, the Defendant ignored notice of infringement, wrongfully accused the Plaintiff of violating Georgia’s Anti-Patent Troll Statute, commissioned a prior art report with art dated after the invention of the Patents, posted defamatory statements and confidential information on social media, and transferred the Accused Products to another entity after this action was filed. This exceptional and willful conduct entitled Plaintiff to trebled damages and attorney’s fees. Finally, citing the possibility of irreparable harm to Kanga Care’s Rump-a-rooz® products, BumBum Babies is permanently enjoined from making any substantially similar cloth diaper products.