A patent dispute between E-Z-Go and Club Car has just been ended with Judge J. Randal Hall of the Southern District of Georgia denying Club Car’s attempt to be awarded attorney fees relating to a case that was started in 2009. We’re sure you’ve read about patent cases involving cell phone technologies, usually between Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, but there are other areas in which patent lawyers can earn a meager living.
The golf cart manufacturers came to blows when E-Z-Go, and its parent company Textron Ltd, filed against Club Car, Inc. on October 1, 2009, alleging that Club Car's Carryall 2 LSV and Carryall 6 LSV vehicles infringed U.S. Patent No. 7,332,881 (referred to in the case as "the '881 patent"), titled "AC Drive System for Electrically Operated Vehicle."
After E-Z-Go filed the suit Club Car responded with information relating to what they believed were prior art references that invalidated the '881 patent. E-Z-Go didn't agree and moved the suit forward and eventually the US Patent and Trademark Office backed Club Car and rejected the claims 32 through 38 of the '881 patent.
E-Z-Go submitted and appeal to the Federal Circuit, which was then withdrawn. The Court heard arguments on the 27th November 2012 relating to Club Car's claim for its attorney fees from E-Z-Go, as per 35 U.S.C. § 285; a "court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.".
However Club Car's bid failed and the Court denied Club Car's motion for attorney fees and ordered the clerk to close the case. For a more in-depth analysis of this case, complete with lots of legal mumbo-jumbo, have a read of Preston H. Heard's E-Z-Go vs. Club Car patent case article.