Patent Law Keyed to Adelman
BIC Leisure Products, Inc. v. Windsurfing International, Inc.
Windsurfing International, Inc. (Plaintiff) was awarded damages from BIC Leisure Products, Inc. (Defendant) for lost profits from March 8, 1983 to September 30, 1985. Plaintiff mainly manufactured its patented "One-Design Class." Although faster and more versatile boards became more popular in the early 1980s, Plaintiff continued making the "One-Design Class," which were slower and did not maneuver as well. Plaintiff also did not adopt the new blow molding process and stayed with the rotomolding process instead. As a consequence, Plaintiff's market dropped from 29.2% to 13.6% from 1983 to 1985. Defendant's sailboards were different from Plaintiffs and Defendant sold its boards cheaply, going after the entry-level sailboard market. On the other hand, Plaintiff priced its boards higher on the spectrum. Over the three-year period, the average price of Defendant's board was $351.33, and Plaintiff's was $610. The district court amended the test set forth in Panduit Corp. v. Stahlin Bros. Fibre Works, 575 F.2d 1152 (6th Cir. 1978), to presume that Plaintiff would capture a share of Defendant's sales in proportion to Plaintiff's share of the market. Defendant appealed. The district court also refused a lost profits award based on price erosion. Plaintiff appealed.
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