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Jurors reject Deere’s patent claims against rivals

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Jurors have ruled against tractor maker Deere & Co. in a lawsuit that alleged rivals were infringing on its patent covering the design of heavy-duty mowing blades.

Federal jurors in Davenport found last week that rotary cutters marketed by Bush Hog Inc. and Great Plains Manufacturing Inc. didn’t infringe on Deere’s patent.

The trial centered on competing brands of rotary cutters, which are pulled behind tractors and are used to cut through fields after harvest and clear weeds and brush.

Deere filed the lawsuit in 2009 contending the Bush Hog and Great Plains brands infringed on a patent issued in 2000 that covers a deck design meant to keep the blades clean by stopping debris from accumulating.

Deere had been seeking an injunction and damages for lost profits and royalties.



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