Patent Dispute Over Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Launched in Northern District of Georgia
Burkhard Wiggerich (“Wiggerich”), a German citizen residing in Arnsberg, Germany, commenced a patent infringement action against a Kansas limited liability Company, Blue-Chip Unmanned Aerial Solutions, LLC (“Blue-Chip”), on November 30, 2015 in the Northern District of Georgia. The complaint asserts infringement of United States Patent Number 8,238,128 (the ‘128 Patent), which Wiggerich claims to have invented and own, and relates to unmanned aerial vehicles.
Wiggerich asserts personal jurisdiction over Blue-Chip in part due to Defendant’s placement of “infringing devices into the stream of commerce” – a legal concept which potentially takes on new meaning with unmanned aerial vehicles.
Blue-Chip’s founders are promoted on its website as being military veterans who specialized in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and UAV operations. The website declares “they were instrumental in successfully integrating UAS operations and training into high level DoD and DHS exercises both at home and abroad.”
Wiggerich is the Managing Director of AirRobot GmbH & Co. and a Director of AirRobot US Inc., a Virginia corporation. Figure 2 from the ‘128 Patent and an image from the web of an AirRobot unmanned aerial vehicle are pictured below:
The complaint asserts that Blue-Chip is liable for direct infringement of ‘128 patent , as well as for contributory and induced infringement. The complaint alleges that the infringement has been and continues to be “willful, deliberate and intentional,” and that Wiggerich has suffered direct and proximate monetary damages. Wiggerich prays for an injunction, an award of damages, a finding that the case is exceptional, an award trebling the damages because of the willful and intentional infringement, and reasonable attorney fees.
The case is Burkhard Wiggerich v. Blue-Chip Unmanned Aerial Solutions, LLC, No. 1:15-cv-04156, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, on November 30, 2015, and assigned to U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr.