Actually, if the case lasted more than one hour, I’d be surprised. The foreign company copied the design, except for one detail that was not included in the patent. It was meant to detect any attempt at reproducing the patent.
We presented our claim that this was a patent infringement. I asked the company to demonstrate that their unit performed as they claimed. They set their unit up, telling the judge how the unit was to perform. We waited, they turned the unit on, but it began to heat up and smoke. “You are claiming that this unit is the original unit on which this patent was based. Your position is that my client stole your patent, is that correct?”
“Yes, that’s correct.”
“Can you explain why your unit, which was the basis of your patent, isn’t working as stated in your patent claim?”
“It must have been incorrectly set up.”
“Is it possible to bring in another unit and demonstrate the purported function?”
“Yes” He nodded to a gentleman at the back of the courtroom, he left.
The judge recessed the court for 1 hour. I called the hotel and checked with Steven. Everything was fine.
Court resumed, the competition had another unit set up.
“You may resume Mr. Jeffries.”
“Thank you, your honor. Now, sir, you are guaranteeing this unit will work as outlined in this patent.”
“Yes, if you just turn that dial to 60 and flip the switch.”
I did that. “Now your patent stated that this unit would produce a 30-minute charge of electricity, enough to charge a car battery, is that correct?”
“Your honor, we have a car battery that has no charge. When we attached these cables to the battery and with this voltage meter, you can see this battery is dead.” The judge nodded his acceptance.
“Sir, if you would start your unit.”
They threw the switch, nothing happened. No smoke, no electricity, no charge. “Sir, I would offer that your unit does not function as designed.”
“I don’t understand why it isn’t.”
“Could it be that when you copied the patent of Sterling Products, you missed a vital point?”
“No, the patent is correct. We must have made an error when we filed the patent.”
“Your honor, if we may. These gentlemen tried to copy the unit brought here by Sterling Products research director, Mr. Osgood. Mr. Osgood, will you please set up your unit. Your honor, as you can see, the units look identical. Mr. Osgood, please proceed.”
Mr. Osgood started the unit; immediately, the voltage meter began to show a charge was being applied to the dead battery.”
“Mr. Harpton, would you care to explain why this unit works, and yours don’t.”
“No, your honor, our’s should have worked. It worked in our lab.”
“It’s the opinion of this court that the patent filed by Sterling Products was copied. Therefore, this court rules in favor ofSterling Products and penalizes Sun Ion Company, the sum of 5 million dollars for patent infringement.
Their unit worked in their lab because they had a Sterling unit that they were copying.
The case was an easy win, and I appreciated the 25 percent lawyer fees.
Going back to the hotel, I called Judy, “Judy, the case is over; please notify our pilots that we will meet them at the airport and then arrange the limo to pick up. Yes, as I suspected, it was an easy case.”
“Okay, boys, we are ready to go home. Have you eaten lunch?”
“We had a snack.”
I laughed. Their snack was a meal for me. “Okay, let’s pack up. We can get some lunch at the hotel restaurant and then go directly to the airport.”
The plane had a 3 o’clock departure. We had a little over an hour to wait after finishing lunch. I decided we’d wait at the airport.
Flying home was interesting. Steven was acting nonchalant, and Mathew was asking all kinds of questions. I took the time to relax.
Arriving at our airport, the limo was there. It was a new limo, but the driver was the same guy that usually picked us up.
“Good evening Mr. Jeffries. How do you like the new limo?”
“It looks brand new. Don’t tell me your boss has sprung for new limos?”
“No, sir, this is your limo. Your secretary said you wanted your own limo and driver.”
“Are you my driver?”
“Yes, sir, I thought with what you do, it’s best if I stayed with the limo.
“Well, let’s go home.” The boys got in the back. I got in front with Peter.
“Peter, where’s the limo going to be garaged?”
“At your house, your garage is designed for a limo. I think the previous owners had a limo. We had to move some boxes out of the way.”
“Yes, there were quite a few boxes in your garage. I don’t know what’s in them. They weren’t heavy to move.”
“Okay, where are you going to stay.”
“Maria offered her spare bedroom. She said I could eat with the family.”
“I’d say that is just fine with me.”
Arriving at home, I wondered where Mathew was going to sleep. I shouldn’t have had to worry about that. Steven had it under control.
“Dad, until the expansion is completed, would it be okay if Mathew shared my room.”
“If you don’t mind, I don’t. I appreciate your offer.”
Steven took over, introducing everyone to Mathew. That night as I sat in my office, there was a knock on my door.