FORT MYERS, Fla. — A federal judge partially granted a motion for default judgment in a lawsuit involving a patent infringement dispute.

Senior U.S. District Judge John E. Steele granted in part and denied in part the motion and scheduled an evidentiary hearing for 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 2, according to the May 9 opinion and order filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

The motion for default judgment was filed Jan. 8, and no responses were filed.

The lawsuit was filed in September 2015 by Global Tech LED against HiLumz International Corp., HiLumz LLC and HiLumz USA LLC. Jeffrey J. Newman and Gary K. Mart were named as third-party defendants.

Global Tech holds a patent for LED light bulbs and a retrofit LED apparatus that contains a rotatable feature.

In its lawsuit, Global Tech said HiLumz infringed on its patent by inventing a retrofit LED apparatus.

Global Tech sought injunctive relief and money damages for what it called the defendants' willful direct and indirect patent infringement.

For nearly two years, the defendants denied the allegations of infringement and argued that any product that was substantially identical to Global Tech's products was sold prior to the issue of the patent.

The defendants' counsel filed a motion to withdraw on June 30 on the grounds that the defendants were no longer willing to pay attorney's fees and costs associated with the lawsuit.

That motion was later granted and the defendants were ordered to retain new counsel before Aug. 11. The defendants failed to do so.

A federal magistrate judge issued a report and recommendations Aug. 28, 2017, and recommended that default is entered against the defendants. 

In his opinion and order, Steele said it was clear that the clerk's default was properly entered against the defendants pursuant to Rule 55(a). He said because the defendants failed to obtain new counsel, they failed to otherwise defend themselves against the lawsuit.

Steele also said in the opinion and order that the factual allegations in the complaint were not sufficient to support a default judgment pertaining to infringement.

The court ruled it could not grant a default judgment for damages and other relief without an evidentiary hearing, which is scheduled.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida case number: 2:15-cv-553-FtM-29CM

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