SALT LAKE CITY — Local attorney Brett L. Foster spent Friday walking on cloud nine.
After four years of wading through depositions and patent challenges galore, Foster helped secure a patent infringement verdict Thursday of more than $11 million for his client, Orem-based K-TEC Inc., in federal district court against Vita-Mix.
"We invest our heart and soul in these cases," Foster said. "The satisfaction when I woke up this morning after working so hard for so many years, I really felt a sense of genuine peace and fulfillment that the system worked."
K-TEC fabricates the Blendtec blenders that spawned the wildly successful viral ad campaign "Will it blend?" that has generated more than 300 million YouTube hits. In 2006, K-TEC filed suit against blending industry goliath Vita-Mix for infringing on patented technologies such as Blendtec's five-sided blending jar.
"Vita-Mix decided they'd knock off (Blendtec's) product," Foster said. "They created what we considered and what a jury apparently considered a direct copy."
Next up for Foster and K-TEC: trying to persuade Judge Tena Campbell to triple what is already one of the largest intellectual properties in Utah history.
Following a nine-day trial and seven hours of deliberation, the jury returned a finding Thursday that Vita-Mix willfully infringed upon K-TEC's invention. That finding essentially opens the door for Campbell, at her discretion, to enhance damages threefold for punitive purposes to upwards of $33 million.
"The purpose of the finding of willful infringement and the purpose of the judge's analysis of whether to enhance damages is really to take away profits (Vita-Mix) shouldn't have had," Foster said. "It will also serve to possibly deter them from doing again what they did here.
"I think the facts speak strongly and loudly for enhanced damages in this case. We'll pursue it vigorously to try to get that for our client because it's deserved."
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