Damages due in Staples’ patent violation

Associated Press / January 12, 2011

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NEWTOWN, Pa. — A federal judge in Los Angeles is considering how much the Massachusetts-based retailer Staples Inc. must pay in damages and legal fees after a jury concluded that Staples infringed on stapler patents held by Accentra Inc., a maker of office tools.

The case revolved around three Accentra patents for PaperPro spring-powered staplers.

A jury found on Dec. 21 that Staples infringed on Accentra’s patents when making and selling Staples’ OneTouch line of staplers.

US District Judge Audrey Collins is expected to set the damage amount in the first quarter of 2011, Accentra said.

A spokesman said Staples was surprised by the verdict and plans to appeal it. He said Staples ensures it respects the intellectual property rights of others and builds integrity into its design and manufacturing.

PaperPro patents are also the centerpiece of a patent-infringement case against Acco Brands Corp. and their Swingline PowerEase staplers.

Staples shares fell 22 cents, or nearly 1 percent, to $22.88.