Patent Verdict in Sabbatical Case in Marshall

There will be a little more parking across the street today since a jury in Judge Gilstrap’s court in Marshall concluded their work, finding at least one of the asserted claims infringed and awarding $37.5 million in damages.

This case generated some interesting pretrial rulings.  The defendant tried unsuccessfully to get the case transferred to California, where its US subsidiary is based.  Judge Payne denied that motion, and both Judge Gilstrap and the Federal Circuit affirmed that ruling. 

Then a few weeks ago when the defendant unexpectedly did not get the August trial setting it thought it would (it was set second but thought the first case would settle), Judge Gilstrap denied its motion to push the case to December to accommodate defendant’s lead counsel’s planned sabbatical leave involving international travel.  All turned out well – he was replaced as lead counsel by someone else from his firm, and as we speak is presumably enjoying his trip. (But this case will forever be known as the sabbatical case as a result).

I say everything turned out well – his client did get hit for $37.5 million, but I do not know whether that was anywhere close to either what the plaintiff was asking for, or what the defendant contended was appropriate if infringement was found.  I do note that there were no invalidity defenses submitted.

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