(December 15, 2016 – Marin County, California) – Is filing a transfer motion worth it? A company’s backyard doesn’t seem like the fairest place to have a trial when the damage occurred in a another state, but that’s what happened here. However, the people in California found Apple infringed the asserted patents, the way it would have happened in Texas. Critics say E.D. Texas juries award too much, but really they just understand property rights better than most. Most people don’t realize it, but a patent-holder must file a lawsuit to recover its lost licenses from infringing pop-up companies and even more established companies like Apple. The “America Invents Act” is an oxymoron as it hurts inventors and adopts a patent system that China lobbied the rest of the world to adopt over the last decade. America, before the AIA, was the last holdout for inventors. (This is a separate topic for our current President Elect Trump to consider: We lose jobs due to NAFTA, but we are losing companies because of the AIA. The impact on intellectual property holders to preserve higher-paying American ingenuity, including white-collar science and medical jobs, needs to looked at now.).
Post-AIA a patent holder in most cases most file a separate lawsuit for each accused infringer, guaranteeing that the media will say the patent holder is evil for filing so many lawsuits! What is overlooked is the change in the law that forces a patent holder to do this. Then, the media and politicians use the new patent filings to impact legislation without every mentioning the requirement to file patent infringement cases individually, created in 2012 due to the AIA.
In Core Wireless Licensing v. Apple, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-05007-RS (N.D. Cal. 2015), a jury in tech savvy Judge Seeborg’s San Francisco courtroom awarded plaintiff Core Wireless Licensing, a subsidiary of Conversant Intellectual Property Management Inc., $7.3 million in damages after finding Apple infringed claims of two patents related to smartphone technology, U.S. Patent No. 6,633,536 and U.S. Patent No. 6,477,151 — which appear to provide innovations that improve battery life and signal quality in mobile phones. The infringing Apple products were the iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 5C, 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, and SE and the cellular-enabled iPad, iPad 3, iPad 4, iPad Mini, iPad Air, iPad Air 2, and iPad Pro.
The Core Wireless lawsuit was originally filed in E.D. Texas. Then Apple obtained a transfer to N.D. Cal., but that didn’t stop the case from proceeding to trial. While the verdict amount may seem small to some, it is important to understand the infringement found is relevant to newer Apple products, e.g., iPhone 7, 7S and tablets, which will have sales to be determined in a different proceeding and impacts an ongoing royalty rate going forward. And those sales will arguably be higher and considered to be willful infringement based upon this jury’s verdict.
Core Wireless was initially represented, until October 27, 2015, by a group of Howrey attorneys lead by Bunsow (which splintered off into the law firm known as Bunsow, De Mory, Smith & Allison LLP, located at 351 California Street, Suite 200 in San Francisco); then until June 29, 2016 by attorneys Alexander C.D. Giza and Andrew James Junker of Hueston Bennigan LLP out of Los Angeles. Ultimately, Adam Hoffman, Reza Mirzaie, Neil Alan Rubin, Marc Aaron Fenster, Jay Chung, and Brian David Ledahl of Russ August & Kabat and solo practitioners Benjamin T Wang and Kayvan Bakhtiari Noroozi prevailed at trial over Wilmer Hale.
Apple, Inc. was represented by trial attorneys Joseph J. Mueller, Cynthia D. Vreeland, David Robert Smith, John Verble Hobgood, Kathryn Zalewski, Katie Marie Saxton, Mark Daniel Selwyn, Richard W O’Neill, and Timothy Davis Syrett of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP‘s Boston and Palo Alto offices and attorney Melissa Smith of Gillam & Smith LLP.