Mark Ferguson and Hamilton Hill Win $23 Million Patent Verdict for Individual Inventor Against Ford Motor Company


Mark Ferguson and Hamilton Hill won a $23 million patent infringement verdict against Ford Motor Company on behalf of individual inventor Jacob Krippelz, Sr., in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Mr. Krippelz's patent, on an automotive lighting system used widely in exterior rear view mirrors, was issued in 1991. Krippelz is the 77-year old Chief Executive Officer of Jake's, Inc., a machining and equipment refurbishing concern in Aurora, Illinois. 

Prior to trial, Bartlit Beck had defeated Ford's four motions for summary judgment and also won summary judgment of infringement. 

Mark Ferguson led the Bartlit Beck team for the subsequent validity and damages trial. After deliberating for approximately four hours, the jury returned a verdict finding Mr. Krippelz's patent valid and awarding him $23 million. Ford had asked the jury to award only $200,000 in damages. Hamilton Hill presented Mr. Krippelz's damages case at trial, with Ferguson presenting the case on validity.

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