Last Friday a jury in U.S. District Judge Richard Schell's court in Plano (back when he was an active judge) rendered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a complex intellectual property case, Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions v. Intersil.
Breach of Contract
After being instructed as a matter of law that the defendant retained confidential information in breach of a confidentiality agreement, the jury found one dollar in nominal damages attributable to the retention of that information, and that the defendant had failed to comply with the confidentiality agreement. It assessed damages at $12 million as a reasonable royalty arising from this failure to comply.
Trade Secret Misappropriation
The jury then found that the plaintiff had proven that the defendant misappropriated its trade secrets, and assessed $48,783,007 in damages, choosing to place the damages under disgorgement as opposed to reasonable royalty. It further found that the misappropriation resulted from fraud, malice or gross negligence, and assessed an additional $10 million as exemplary damages for that trade secret misappropriation.
(For those of you keep track, we're up to $70,783,007 in damages, and we're not even to the patent claims yet. You might want to resharpen your pencils now. This was a long verdict form).
The jury was then asked whether the defendant had proven that the plaintiff must have known or must have reasonably been able to discover that the defendant had use the plaintiff’s proprietary information to compete products before November 25, 2005, and answered no. It did find, however, that the plaintiff had proven that the defendant fraudulently concealed the facts upon which the plaintiff’s misappropriation of trade secrets claim was based.
The jury found that the defendant intentionally interfered with the plaintiff’s prospective business relations with Apple, and assessed as damages $8 million as the amount that would reasonably and fairly compensate the plaintiff for its lost profit damages arising from the defendant's intentional interference with its prospective relations with Apple.
The jury also found that the plaintiff proved by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant's tortious interference was, again, the result of fraud, malice or gross negligence, and assessed another $10 million in exemplary damages for that tortious interference.
The jury found that all four of the accused products infringed all six asserted claims of the patent in suit, and that the defendant had not proven by clear and convincing evidence that any of the claims were invalid due to obviousness, for failure to satisfy the written description requirement, or for failing to contain a sufficiently full and clear description of how to make and use the full scope of the claimed invention. (In an charming note, the jury not only checked the box for “no”, but added a handwritten “No” for each of the 18 boxes where it was asked and invalidity question).
As far as damages, the jury assessed $73,653.51 in patent infringement damages, and found that the infringement of the patent was willful
($88,783,007 + $73,653.51 = uh, $88 million and some change)
The jury found that the defendant had not proved that its conduct was excused because of laches or unclean hands.