Telebrands was accused of “serial infringement” through a series of variations on what is essentially a copy of the Bunch O Balloons product.
A Texas federal judge has doubled a 2017 jury award to $24.5m and tacked on $4.75m in attorney fees and expenses for Zuru after it won a case against Telebrands Corp. for infringing two patents on a water balloon device.
The two patents Telebrands infringed upon were licensed to Zuru for its Bunch O Balloons product, which allows users to fill up to 100 balloons with water simultaneously. It was found during the trial that the infringer had attempted to subtly alter the original product design in an effort to bypass injunctions blocking sales of previous products. According to the lawsuit, Telebrands became aware of Bunch O Balloons through Kickstarter and created a series of copies; Balloon Bonanza, Easy Einstein Balloons and Battle Balloons. All are currently subject to a federal injunction.
In doubling the award, Judge Schroeder came down hard on Telebrands for wasting court resources. It was found that the company filed misleading emergency motions, was slow to comply with discovery requests and caused the court to expend excess resources by filing non-meritous motions.
Bunch O Balloons inventor Josh Malone commented: “I do not expect them to pay. Telebrands and its retail cohorts have been stealing from inventors for 40 years and it never pays.”