The first was SSL Services, LLC v. Citrix Systems, Inc, et al., 2:08cv158, which Judge Gilstrap tried with a Marshall jury in the historic 1901 county courthouse - the first trial in the historic district courtroom in almost half a century. The Marshall paper noted the historical significance in today's edition. But outside Harrison County, the significance of the case is likely to be that it marks the first application by a district court of last Thursday's Federal Circuit opinion in Bard Peripheral v. W.L.Gore (Fed. Cir. 2012) (on rehearing) that the "objective prong" of the test for willful patent infringement is a separate question of law, and that henceforth it will be the trial court's duty to determine whether the defendant's actions were objectively reckless. I will post on the actual verdict later but it's my understanding that pursuant to Bard Judge Gilstrap made the determination that the defendant's actions were in fact (sorry, in law) objectively reckless, and then submitted the issue of willfulness to the jury under the new Bard framework, and the jury then found that the infringement was willful.
It's just a reminder to me that it's really Dennis Crouch's world - we just work in it - because Dennis forecast exactly this result uh, yesterday in a Patently-O post where he noted "Because it will be prior-in-time, the judicial decision on objective recklessness will filter-out many willfulness allegations before they reach the jury. And the jury, once it is told that the judge has determined the behavior objectively reckless, is likely to find any infringed patent to be willfully infringed." Which Judge Gilstrap's jury did yesterday. As I said, once I have had a chance to study the verdict and what transpired between Thursday and yesterday I'll post further.
Meanwhile, across the street, as the article in the Marshall paper pointed out, the reason Judge Gilstrap was camping out in the county courthouse was because Federal Circuit Judge Bill Bryson was in town trying one of the cases he was assigned last fall, and was using Judge Gilstrap's courtroom. In that case, Versata Software, Inc. et al v. Internet Brands, Inc., 2:08-cv-00313-WCB, the jury found that the accused products did not infringe the asserted claims and that the claims were invalid, plus handed the defendants $2 million on their trade secret misappropriation counterclaims, and a finding that the plaintiff breached a confidentiality agreement, resulting on the one dollar in damages the defendant sought.
Maybe the rest of the week will be slower.