Kohler Power Systems announced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld an earlier U.S. District Court decision that a Generac patent was invalid.
The decision upholds an earlier judgment in favor of Kohler Co. from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in Generac Power Systems, Inc. v. Kohler Company and Total Energy Systems, LLC (case number 11-CV-1120-JPS), in which a Milwaukee jury in December 2012 unanimously found Kohler did not infringe the patent, and Generac’s patent was invalid based on earlier technology.
The rulings stem from litigation initiated by Generac in 2011 against Kohler and its distributor TES, claiming infringement of a patent relating to control systems on generator sets. Kohler manufactures standby generators with a control system that Generac claimed patent protection for. This latest appellate decision means all court rulings on the case have found Kohler did not infringe the patent, and that Generac’s patent is invalid.
"We appreciate the Court of Appeals’ diligence in its review of the case and look forward to putting the matter behind us," said Larry Bryce, President – Kohler Power Systems. "We are continuing to invest in product innovation that meets the needs of our residential and commercial customers to be prepared for power outages.”
Kohler has introduced several new products in the past year, including two controllers that allow automatic paralleling of multiple generators, and the company has seen increased market demand for home and small business emergency backup power in recent years. PR