Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Damages’

Apple Hit With $22M Verdict In Acacia Patent Trial

September 18th, 2016 Alexander No comments

A jury recently found that Apple Inc.’s iPhones and iPads infringe a patent on wireless communication technology owned by Cellular Communications Equipment LLC, a subsidiary of major patent licensing firm Acacia Research Corp.  The jury ordered Apple to pay $22.1 million in damages.

That patent was originally issued to a Nokia Corp. engineer and then acquired by Cellular Communications Equipment. It covers technology for managing the resources used to send data over a communications network and increasing the efficiency of communicating.

Apple argued that it does not infringe and that the patents are invalid as obvious or because the applicant omitted inventors from the patent.

In addition to Apple, the suit named as defendants the mobile carriers that resell Apple devices and configure them to make them compatible with their networks: AT&T Mobility LLC, Verizon Wireless, Sprint Solutions Inc., Boost Mobile LLC and T-Mobile USA Inc.

However, U.S. Magistrate Judge K. Nicole Mitchell granted the carrier’s motion to sever the claims against them and stay them until completion of the trial against Apple, finding that the claims are peripheral to the claims against Apple.

The carriers can only be liable for patent infringement if Apple is found to infringe, but if Apple were found liable and ordered to pay damages, Cellular Communications Equipment cannot recover damages from the carriers because it is barred from receiving a double recovery for the same sales.

For more information, see Law360.



Appeal of $400M Award In Apple-Samsung Patent War

March 28th, 2016 Alexander No comments

The U.S. Supreme Court recently decided to hear Samsung’s appeal of a $400 million judgment that Apple won in a smartphone patent suit.  The Supreme Court agreed to consider Samsung’s argument that the damages test for design patents results in “unjustified windfalls” for patent owners.

The Supreme Court granted Samsung’s petition for a writ of certiorari, which challenged a lower court’s decision that the tech giant must pay Apple its entire profits from smartphones found to infringe Apple’s design patents on the look of the iPhone.

Samsung told the justices that the Federal Circuit misread the law and argued that requiring companies to pay their entire profits when they are found to infringe design patents results in exorbitant awards and gives design patents too much power.

“The decision below is thus an open invitation to litigation abuse, and has already prompted grave concern across a range of U.S. companies about a new flood of extortionate patent litigation, especially in the field of high technology,” Samsung said.

In 2012, a jury found that Samsung infringed Apple’s patents and awarded more than $1 billion in damages, but a damages retrial reduced the award to $548 million. Samsung elected not to appeal the portion of that award dealing with utility patents, and focused its Supreme Court petition on the $399 million in damages related to the jury’s finding of design patent infringement.

Samsung noted that the justices had not heard a case dealing with design patents in more than 120 years. The rule that companies must pay their “total profit” from expensive products like smartphones found to have infringed design patents makes no sense in the modern world, the company argued.

“With the recent explosion of design patents in complex products like smartphones, the time is ripe for this court to again take up the issue,” it said.

Apple told the Supreme Court that the law “could not be clearer” that infringers must pay their total profits for design patent infringement, so there was no need to hear the case.

“Samsung had its day in court — many days, in fact — and the properly instructed jury was well-justified in finding that Samsung copied Apple’s designs and should pay the damages that the statute expressly authorizes,” Apple said.

“We welcome the court’s decision to hear our case. We thank the many large technology companies, 37 intellectual property professors, and several groups representing small business, which have supported our position,” Samsung said. “The court’s review of this case can lead to a fair interpretation of patent law that will support creativity and reward innovation.”

For more information, see Law360.



Box To Pay $5M For Infringing Open Text Patents

February 23rd, 2015 Alexander No comments

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.



GPNE Seeks $94M In Damages From Apple

October 23rd, 2014 Alexander No comments

Apple Inc. bashed GPNE Corp.’s $94 million damages demand as “extreme” and “unreasonable” during closing arguments in GPNE’s trial accusing Apple of selling almost 94 million iPhones and iPads that infringe two data-communications patents. Apple went on to tell the jury that Apple did not infringe any of GPNE’s patents and it should not pay anything.

The patents in question describe how a mobile device can “reserve” space to send out a message on a cellular network. GPNE invented the technology described in the patents in the early 1990s while trying to come up with a reliable way to communicate between mobile devices in Hawaii, where cell reception was poor and mountains often got in the way.

“Apple respects patents, and it respects innovation. It will not capitulate to a company that’s stretching its patents. It’s not right, and it’s not fair,” Apple’s attorney argued.

Apple’s attorney further stated that other companies that licensed GPNE’s patents paid a fraction of what the company says Apple owes for allegedly infringing its patents. Those companies that took licenses did so because GPNE had threatened them with “costly legal entanglements” if they refused.

GPNE’s damages expert testified that he had studied some of GPNE’s licenses with other companies that make and sell mobile devices, including Samsung Electronics Co. and HTC Corp., and determined that they had paid a license of approximately $1 per device.

Much of Apple’s defense in the trial has focused on the fact that GPNE’s patents described pagers, not the smartphones and tablets accused in the lawsuit. GPNE’s attorneys contend that the mentions of pagers in the patents are meant only as an example of a mobile device that sends and receives data.

“Would we have had a trial over the past two or three weeks if it were as simple as whether or not this is about a pager?” GPNE’s attorney argued. “Our patent expert showed how Apple’s devices contain each and every element of each and every asserted claim.”

For more information, see Law360.