Robert Gentile, an individual inventor, had sued Sun Products and its owner for infringement of Patent No. 5,722,906 directed to a street hockey ball filled with antifreeze. Following summary judgment of infringement and no invalidity a bench trial was held on willfulness and damages. Prior to the trial the defendants’ counsel withdrew and no new counsel made an appearance. The court entered default judgment against Sun Products while its owner proceeded pro se. Following the trial the court found that the owner had either destroyed or withheld records regarding infringing sales and that his infringement was willful. He was ordered to pay ~ $630k in damages, which was tripled due to willfulness. The plaintiff was also awarded $180k in attorneys’ fees. (See https://bostonipblog.typepad.com/dmass-ip-blog/2010/02/judge-gertner-awards-attorneys-fees-in-patent-case.html)
In a non-precedential opinion, the Federal Circuit affirmed Judge Gertner’s order denying the owner’s motion for a new trial, which asserted a variety of grounds that the appeals court rejected, including one that amounted to taking pity on him because he was pro se. Though no costs were awarded.
Gentile v. Sun Prods, Inc., 2009-1529 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 6, 2010)