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Box To Pay $5M For Infringing Open Text Patents

A federal jury recently returned a nearly $5 million verdict against Box Inc. and its co-defendants in a suit that alleged it sold editing software that infringes Open Text SA’s file synchronization patents.

The jury found for Open Text, concluding that Box directly infringed three patents, that it contributed to infringement and induced infringement of three patents.

Furthermore, the jury found Box’s co-defendant, Carahsoft Technology Corp., contributed to and induced infringement. The jury concluded that the defendants hadn’t proven the claims at issue in the patents were anticipated by earlier technology.

In the trial, Open Text accused Box of infringing three patents, all of which relate to file synchronization. Open Text was forced to go to trial without damages expert Krista Holt’s testimony on royalty rates after U.S. District Judge James Donato found that her conclusions lacked quantifiable support and amounted to “‘I like it, I like it not’ petal-plucking.”

The defendants must pay $4.9 million in a lump sum to cover damages for past and future use of the technology covered by the patents, although the plaintiffs had sought much more.

Open Text told the jury Box should pay up to $11 million in royalties for selling editing software that infringes on the patents. Open Text said Box Edit software had some 37 million users, and that Open Text was asking for lump-sum royalty on just a fraction of that.

Box contended that Open Text hadn’t used the patents because it knew they were invalid, and that the patent office hadn’t seen some key portions of other programs that would have shown prior art.

For more information, see Law360.

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