The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas upheld and entered its November 2017 jury verdict against Telebrands and subsidiary Bulbhead.com LLC, and more than doubled the damage award to $24.5 million in the company’s infringement lawsuit of Zuru’s Bunch O Balloons (U.S. Patents 9,315,282 and 9,242,749).
The court concluded that Telebrands’ willful infringement and litigation practices were particularly egregious, and doubled the jury’s previously awarded $12.5 million in damages to plaintiffs ZURU and Tinnus Enterprises Inc. The court also granted their attorneys’ fees of $4,750,000, together with interest, accruing from January 2016 on the total final damages amount. Further, Telebrands and Bulbhead were permanently enjoined from the sale of their infringing Battle Balloon, Balloon Bonanza HK, and Battle Balloon Color Burst products.
“The jury was clear in its message in November 2017, and now the U.S. legal system reinforced both the judgment and the particularly blatant and egregious nature of the defendants infringement of our Bunch O Balloons products,” said Anna Mowbray, ZURU’s COO. “Doubling the damages and awarding us attorneys’ fees makes it clear that copying is not cool. Stealing our intellectual property will not be tolerated.”
ZURU has also obtained preliminary injunctions in two other pending infringement actions against the Telebrands barring U.S. sales of other knock-off water balloon products including Balloon Bonanza and Easy Einstein balloons.
“We are moving quickly toward successful resolution of these other lawsuits and are committed to fighting infringing conduct like this,” said Mowbray.
According to court documents, retailers Bed Bath & Beyond, Fry’s Electronics, The Kroger Company, Sears Holding Corp. and Walgreen Co. were also named in the suit, and will also be held responsible for paying a small portion of the damages.