Court allows possible pre-suit damages in incontinence product case

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SCA will be able to proceed with seeking pre-suit damages against First Quality Products Inc. after the nation's high court weighed in and remanded the case back to a lower court.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito ruled in SCA's favor in a 7-1 decision issued March 21. Justice Stephen Breyer filed a dissenting opinion. The court's verdict allows SCA proceed in seeking pre-suit damages against First Quality.

SCA began its lawsuit in 2010, suing First Quality for infringement of patents for adult incontinence products. However, SCA notified First Quality that its adult incontinence products infringed on an SCA patent in 2003. At stake was whether the seven years in between the notice and the lawsuit resulted in recoverable damages to SCA.

A lower court had dismissed SCA's claim, but that decision was reversed by the Supreme Court. The case now goes back to district court in Kentucky for trial on pre- and post-suit damages.

"We are thrilled that the Supreme Court ruled in our favor. SCA can now pursue all of the damages to which it is entitled for First Quality's infringement of SCA's patent rights," said Michael Feenan, Vice President Sales & Marketing, SCA Incontinence Care North America.

The Supreme Court's decision offers an advantage to plaintiffs in future patent infringement cases, as it lets them file a lawsuit further out but still recover damages, according to the National Law Review.

First Quality did not return a call for comment by production deadline.


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