Carolina Waterworks, Inc. v. Taylor Made Group, LLC, No. 2:12-cv-02568, slip op. (D. S.C. August 6, 2013).
In Carolina Waterworks, the district court said Defendant’s financial statements were irrelevant to Plaintiff’s infringement damages theories, denying a motion to compel discovery of those records. Interestingly, the court didn’t mention Georgia-Pacific in its seven-page opinion.
Plaintiff sued alleging infringement. Id. at 1. Plaintiff filed a motion to compel discovery of Defendant’s financial statements, tax returns and balance sheets. Id. at 4. Plaintiff argued the documents were relevant to infringement damages. Id. at 4. Defendant resisted, arguing the documents didn’t meet relevancy requirements. Id.
Finding Defendant’s financial documents would not affect determination of infringement damages, the district court denied the motion to compel:
- Defendant is an unincorporated division of a large entity and did not separately keep the records requested. Id. at 4.
- A patent owner is not entitled to seek damages based on an infringer’s profits. Id. at 6.
- Defendant’s balance sheet would not enable Plaintiff to calculate a reasonable royalty or its own lost profits. Id. at 6-7.