Alfred E. Mann Foundation for Scientific Research v. Cochlear Corp. (Central District of California)

On November 4, 2018, the District Court for the Central District of California awarded Alfred Mann Foundation over $268 million in total damages (not including over four years of interest) for Cochlear’s willful infringement of one of the Foundation’s patents. Dan Johnson was lead counsel in the District Court trial in 2014 after having been asked to take over the case just four months before trial and after close of discovery. After a two-week trial, the jury awarded the Foundation over $131 million in damages.  Cochlear appealed the verdict to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which ruled that certain of the patent claims are valid and infringed, returning the matter to the District Court to decide the issue of damages.  On remand, the District Court upheld the $131 million jury damages award, awarded an additional $2.8 million in supplemental damages, and exercised its discretion to enhance damages by doubling both the jury damages award and the supplemental damages because Cochlear’s infringement was willful.  In addition to upholding the jury’s finding of willfulness, the judge’s 75-page opinion also held that the trial tactics employed by Cochlear were unsuccessful and resulted in a waiver of several crucial defenses.

Compuware v IBM (Eastern District of Michigan)

Compuware sued IBM for theft of trade secrets and copyright infringement of Compuware’s diagnostic tools used in the main frame environment. IBM counterclaimed for patent infringement. IBM developed and released competing software tools in ten months. The same tools had taken Compuware 25 years to perfect. The IBM software development team was based in Perth Australia. The case was tried to a jury in Detroit Michigan over five weeks. Using sophisticated time in motion studies, animations, and IBM development documents, the case settled with consideration of $400 million.

ActiveVideo Networks, Inc. v. Verizon Communications Inc., et al.

ActiveVideo had a large portfolio covering video on demand technology but had been unable to license to the technology despite numerous efforts over a number of years. Mr. Johnson led the team to identify the best patents and claims proving infringement, having the ability to withstand a validity challenge and having the greatest chance to maximize the monetary recovery. Next, they strategically selected the best venue in which to litigate the action.

A two­-week jury trial in the Eastern District of Virginia yielded a $265 million verdict for the client, affirmed on appeal.

Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. v. O2 Micro International LTD, et al. (Northern District of California)

The client O2 Micro was sued for patent infringement. O2 Micro filed a counter suit for trade secrets. At trial, Mr. Johnson’s team was able to establish that the patents were invalid based on disclosures found in a publically available textbook. The team was also able to show that the plaintiffs stole our client’s technology in order to try and maintain a competitive advantage. The jury invalidated the patents and awarded damages for the theft of the trade secrets. The case was affirmed on appeal.

Craig Thorner and Virtual Reality Feedback Corp. v. Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC., et al. (District of New Jersey)

The plaintiff developed a mechanized game chair for use with video games and sued Sony for patent infringement. The parties had previously reached a settlement in an earlier case. The plaintiff claimed the earlier agreement was procured by fraud. Mr. Johnson’s team successfully deployed a dual strategy of enforcing the prior agreement and defending on the basis that the patents were both not infringed and invalid. After a successful motion for summary judgment the case settled for a nominal sum.

Lumileds v. Epistar

In the Matter of Certain High­Brightness Light Emitting Diodes and Products Containing Same, Inv. No. 337­TA­556.

ITC trial over the infringement of LED technology patent owned by Lumileds, against a Taiwanese company Epistar from importing LED lights into the US. Mr. Johnson’s team made strategic decisions over what were the strongest claims, we presented a focused case designed to make proof of infringement easy – thus eliminating the risk of having the patent invalidated. Using creative animation to explain the technology to the Administrative Law Judge, an order was entered finding the patents infringed and granting exclusion. The order was ultimately upheld on appeal and the case settled.

MLC Intellectual Property LLC v. BTG International, Inc. (Superior Court of the State of California County of Santa Clara)

BTG, a British company, was sued by an inventor for breach of contract for failure to pay royalties in state court by an inventor claiming royalties under patents covering nonvolatile memory devices. The dispute turned on the interpretation of the license term. After a two­day motion in limine hearing in which the court ruled for BTG on all of the major issues, the case settled on the eve of trial for a nominal sum.