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IP Team Scores Major Win for LKQ in Long-running Patent Dispute

6 May 2016

Our intellectual property team recently won a major dispute on behalf of LKQ Corporation in a patent suit with Clearlamp involving a process to refurbish vehicle headlights.

LKQ is a publicly traded Fortune 500 company with US$7 billion in revenue, and it provides aftermarket auto parts and accessories around the world.

A federal judge in the Northern District of Illinois ruled that the claims, or scope of protection, set forth in Clearlamp’s patent are not inventive enough and therefore invalid. This ruling follows a victory at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in 2014, one of the first decisions under the new America Invents Act procedure called inter partes review, which assesses the validity of a patent. The board declared several claims of Clearlamp’s patent invalid and that decision was affirmed by the Federal Circuit in early 2015.

Clearlamp originally sued LKQ in 2012, alleging that it sold products that infringed its patented headlight refurbishing process. After the filing, LKQ used the new inter partes review procedure. Despite its setback at the PTAB, Clearlamp continued its district court action, which is now terminated due to the latest defeat.

A Chicago team included partners Alan Barry, Jason Engel, and Benjamin Weed and associates Kacy Dicke and Katherine Hoffee.

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