Icon and Nautilus have filed lengthy briefs with the U.S. District Court, District of Utah, with each company stating its side one last time before the judge in the case finalizes the $7.8 million jury verdict handed down in Icon’s favor.
The case was filed by Icon against Nautilus in August 2002, claiming trademark infringement and false advertising. Judge Tena Campbell will either approve the verdict or could consider making changes to it or the amount of damages assessed by the jury. Depending on the action, Nautilus could decide to appeal the ruling, Nautilus has told SNEWSÂ®.
Icon in its 27-page brief stated that the jury verdict should be treated as binding and the court “should use its discretion to increase the amount of profits.” Nautilus, on the other hand, stated the jury verdict should be simply advisory.
Icon’s brief goes on to tell the judge that Nautilus had agreed to a jury trial and is now bound by the jury’s findings and that the court should treat the damages awarded of $7.8 million as the minimum to which Icon is entitled. Â
“Although the jury’s award â€¦ appears to be large in the abstract, this award is woefully inadequate as compensation to Icon when placed in the context of this case. Nautilus advertised 18 different false statementsâ€¦. The jury’s award is a mere 1.7 percent of Nautilus’ profits and .55 percent of Nautilus’ revenue from the products sold under the false statements.
“In this context, the jury’s award â€¦ is neither adequate compensation nor an effective deterrent to Nautilus’ willful infringement.”
In conclusion, Icon stated the court should use its discretion “to enhance the jury’s monetary award to adequately compensate Icon for Nautilus’ infringement and to deter Nautilus from future infringement.”
Nautilus in its 30-page brief â€“ backed by several inches of exhibits â€“ stated that the verdict is only advisory and that district and circuit courts “routinely award excessive damages,” with damages intended to be compensation and not a penalty.
“At a minimum, the jury’s verdict is excessive and should be significantly reducedâ€¦. The accused statements were made for the purpose of selling the Bowflex and to convey the message that the Bowflex and its Power Rods were unique, one of a kind, not available anywhere else in the world.
“Given that the message from these statements was truthful, that the statements themselves were not material, that Icon demonstrated no harm and no confusion, and that there was no demonstrated benefit to Nautilus from the statements, an award â€¦ to Icon of Nautilus’ profits would be a tremendous windfall without any basis in equity.
In conclusion, Nautilus stated it requests the court “vacate the jury’s verdict and enter a verdict in Nautilus’ favor on Icon’s claims for false advertising, trademark infringement and false marking. In the alternate, Nautilus respectfully requests that the court exercise its equitable discretion to reduce the jury’s excessive awardâ€¦.”
The court is now expected to deliberate, with no ruling expected until the first quarter of 2006. Click here to read our Nov. 17, 2005 SNEWSÂ® story, “Jury finds in favor of Icon’s false advertising claims against Nautilus.”