SSL Services v. Citrix, 2:08cv158 (9/17/12)
Judge: Rodney Gilstrap
Holding: Motion for Interest & Enhanced Damages GRANTED IN PART; Motion for Prevailing Party Status GRANTED IN PART
Today Judge Gilstrap entered judgments in both the patent cases he tried to a verdict this summer. While Ambato v. Garmin just got a judgment, some pre-judgment motion practice in the SSL v. Citrix case required a 14 page opinion to sort out.
The biggest issues was that the plaintiff, having obtained a jury verdict of willful infringement, wanted enhanced damages. Of course the jury verdict was only on the subjective prong - as I've noted previously, Judge Gilstrap was the first trial judge in the country to apply the Bard opinion, which came out the week of this trial. Before charging the jury, the Court issued a finding of objective recklessness (which he noted he'll flesh out when responding to the anticipated JMOL on that issue), and the jury was then asked whether there was clear and convincing evidence of the standard you and I would recognize as the subjective prong of the willfulness test.
But I mentioned enhanced damages. The Court reviewed the applicable factors here, and determined that there was no copying, but that Citrix' "eight-year long failure to investigate the ‘011 patent" supported enhancement despite the patent examiner's current rejection of the asserted claims at the PTO. He also found that the remaining three factors supported enhancement - it wasn't a "close case", the length of infringement was lengthy, and Citrix' size and financial condition all weighed in favor. Judge Gilstrap determined that trebling the $10 million verdict was not appropriate, and instead enhanced damages $5 million for a total of $15 million.
The opinion then went on to set forth the procedure for calculating prejudgment interest ( the prime rate averaged over the actual period of infringement).
Finally, the parties disagreed who was the prevailing party, since the jury agreed with Citrix that the '796 patent was not infringed, and with SSL that the '011 was and awarded the amount sought for that patent. Judge Gilstrap determined that neither side was the "prevailing party" in this case and held that each side should bear its own costs.