“Dolphin Tale” Company Receives $4 Million in Patent Lawsuit
In 2008, Tampa, Fla.-based ALPS South LLC filed suit against Ohio Willow Wood Co., claiming that it infringed upon several of ALPS’ product patents. After a two week trial in federal courts, ALPS has now emerged the victor, Ohio Willow Wood being found to have willfully broken patents on 13 different products.
ALPS produces gel-based products for use in prosthetics, orthotics, silicone, and patient care, while Ohio Willow Wood designs and manufactures prosthetic hardware products. ALPS gained some press in 2011 as the company that created the gel used to seal the prosthetic on the tailless bottlenose dolphin at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Fla. The dolphin’s story was the subject of the 2011 film “Dolphin Tale.”
The jury found the defendant, Ohio Willow Wood, to be making 13 products that infringe ALPS’ patent and awarded ALPS just under $4 million in damages. The jury also found that the infringement was willful, which permits the judge to consider enhancing the damage award up to three times the jury awarded amount. Based on the verdict, ALPS is seeking an injunction against future infringement, which could result in as much as $20 million annually to the company.
“This victory obviously has significant ramifications for Alps, but it also could have a remarkable positive economic impact in Tampa Bay,” said ALPS’ attorney Ron Christaldi. ALPS was represented by Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.
Ohio Willow Wood employs more than 160 people in Mt. Sterling, Ohio, while ALPS has about 85 employees.