Five years after GlasWeld Systems Inc. filed a suit against the company’s former president Michael Boyle, for patent infringement, the United States District Court of Oregon has ruled in favor of a GlasWeld motion for dismissal of all claims.
In the original complaint filed December 2012, GlasWeld had alleged that former president Michael Boyle, doing business as Surface Dynamix, infringed on multiple patents held by the company. It further alleged that Boyle did so in full knowledge and used company trade secrets and customer lists to better his own company.
Despite Boyle being listed as the inventor of the patent “Lamp Systems for Curing resin in Glass,” GlasWeld said it retained all ownership rights and that Boyle had no right to recreate the technology and market the product.
Furthermore, the company alleged Boyle’s practices decreased its market share by introducing unauthorized “knock-off” products, and by unlawfully using GlasWeld customer lists and information from his past position.
Together with his son, Christopher Boyle (who was later added as a defendant in the case,) Michael Boyle denied all claims of unlawful activity, and filed for summary judgment in April 2016, on the grounds that one of the patents at the center of the trial had expired. The Boyles also alleged that GlasWeld had not provided any evidence to suggest financial harm. However, the motion was dismissed.
In January 2017, GlasWeld filed a request to the court for dismissal of all claims against the Boyles due to the discharge of Michael Boyle’s bankruptcy. In the motion to dismiss, GlasWeld’s attorney requested that the Boyles pay the company’s attorney fees that sought to obtain expert reports from April 6, 2015, through May 4, 2015. Since the discharge of Michael Boyle’s debts, and that Christopher Boyle was not presently infringing upon any patents, GlasWeld requested the court set an amount of sanctions to be paid by Christopher Boyle and dismiss the case without prejudice.
The Boyles did not object to the dismissal, though disagreed with the characterization of the sanctions GlasWeld suggested in their motion.
“The plaintiff’s motion to dismiss without prejudice was granted and all remaining pending motions are denied as moot. The plaintiff’s motion, seeking an award of expenses and fees, for a total of $9, 187.90 in attorney fees was granted. As previously stated, Christopher Boyle is responsible for half of these fees, or $4,593.95,” the judge concluded.