Once again, I am pleased to have the opportunity to congratulate my cocounsel and client DDR Holdings on a verdict in their favor. Friday afternoon a Marshall jury in Judge Rodney Gilstrap's court returned a verdict in the DDR v. Digital River case. The jury found Digital River infringed the three claims asserted against it, and codefendants National Leisure Group / World Travel Holdings infringed the six claims asserted against it, and that all the asserted claims had not been shown to be invalid by clear and convincing evidence. The jury further found that the one claim that DDR asserted the defendants induced infringement on was not so infringed, and it rejected the claim that either of the defendants' infringement was willful. Damages were set at $1.5 million through time of trial, with each defendant's share set at $750,000. DDR had asked the jury to award $16.2 million through time of trial, and defendants argued to the jury that if damages were found, they should be $375,000 each, for a total of $750,000.
The case had four other defendants earlier this spring - one settled at that time but there were still three other other defendants until shortly before jury selection on October 1 - trial proceeded against the two remaining beginning Monday, October 8. Judge Gilstrap alloted 13 hours per side for evidence, and while I don't have precise numbers, I think the parties gave him back a little more than an hour, finishing the evidence late Thursday afternoon, and then arguing the charge and then presenting closing arguments Friday morning.
Representing DDR at trial and shown above were Ophelia Camina, Ian Crosby and LeElle Krompass of Susman Godrey, assisted by Andrew Bynum and Renee Licon, Louis Hoffman of the Hoffman Patent Firm (assisting everybody), and me, assisted by my wife Jamie during the entire length of trial, along with three patient boys, who were rewarded with Daddy's pancakes yesterday morning, as shown to the right . Also shown above are our clients, Del and Danny Ross (DDR Jr. and Sr., as it were) with Danny's wife of 47 years, Queenie. As you can tell from the photo, we're in the Hub, where the Susman trial team has been working the past two weeks. This was a special trial for me since I have been representing DDR for six years now (the case was stayed pending reexam for a couple of years during that period) , and finally getting the case tried and a finding of infringement and validity was a milestone for all of us.
Speaking of working with trial teams, that makes - in the past four months - two patent trials to a verdict before Judge Gilstrap, and three others going past the pretrial conference before resolving, one each before Judge Gilstrap, Chief Judge Leonard Davis, and visiting Federal Circuit Judge William Bryson. It will be a nice change not having cases set for trial the next couple of months. preparing for three jury selections on the same day in two cities tends to crash the iPad's calendar I discovered.
This trial comes with a little story as well. At above left (I can't stop myself from mentioning) of the group photo is a picture of the founder of the Hub Shoe Store in 1897, Mr. Mose Weisman, along with interior and exterior photos of Mr. Weisman in the store around that time. Many readers will recognize them as the photos we followed in restoring the store - we keep large copies up in the reception area which I use to bore visitors. Mr. Weisman's great-nephew (and the third and last owner of the store) Louis Kariel and his wife, former Marshall mayor Audrey Kariel came down to the office last Friday to kick off trial with a service organized by my cocounsel to install a mezuzeh from Louis Hoffman's family in the office to commemorate the Weisman and Kariel families. (See me to the left trying to read Hebrew, and to the right with the Kariels). We then conducted a Shabbat service in the store - excuse me, office. Which is actually not new - Mr. Kariel used to lead services in the building back when it was a show store. (Probably not with Hub Shabbat prayer sheets, I'm thinking, though).