Damage Verdict p. 51

By: Editorial Staff Damage Verdict p. 51

FLINT INK CORP. says it will appeal a Detroit federal jury's June 10 verdict awarding $48.7 million in damages to an Iowa woman who said Flint stole her formula for a soy-based newspaper ink.
"We believe the lawsuit is totally without merit, and we are confident that we will be successful in the appeals process," said Flint's vice president and general counsel, Larry King.
In her lawsuit against the big printing ink manufacturer, Sharen Brower, a schoolteacher and artist in Newell, Iowa, said Flint Ink infringed on a patent she holds on soy-based "art media" she discovered while looking for a soy media for her paintings.
Brower's suit alleges Flint violated a 1990 confidentiality agreement on the ink's ingredients that company officials signed when Brower was discussing selling the formula to Flint.
The U.S. District Court jury in Detroit awarded Brower $4.9 million for patent infringement, $15 million for breach of contract and $28.8 million in damages that reflected Flint's alleged illegal profits.
Flint vigorously argued during the trial that its ink formulas neither infringed on the patent nor the confidentiality agreement.
In his statement after the verdict, Flint general counsel King noted that Flint and other ink companies had been manufacturing soy-based inks for several years before Brower brought her formula to Flint's attention in 1992.
"As a result, the company strongly disagrees that their ink formulas violate any agreement or infringe on [Brower's] patent, issued in 1992," Flint Ink said in a statement.
"Time will tell how the case will affect the ink and printing industries as a whole," King said. "Flint Ink has a long-standing reputation for integrity, and we will continue to operate our business and serve our customers according to the highest ethical standards."
Neither Brower nor her attorney could be located for comment.
Detroit jury awards $48.7 million to Iowa woman who said Flint Ink
stole her soy ink formula
June 15, 1996 n Editor & Publisher #


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