Chinese Smartphone ZTE Willfully Infringed Patents, East Texas Judge Says

zte-dataquill(Tyler, Texas – Tuesday, October 13, 2015)  Federal Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas denied an attempt by Chinese smartphone maker ZTE to have a $32 million judgement against them overturned and a new trial initiated. Judge Gilstrap said the jury did their job appropriately and effectively and were properly instructed on the law.


After deliberating less than 45 minutes, Jurors unanimously found in June that ZTE infringed all five asserted data entry claims, that the two patents were valid, that the infringement was willful, and that royalties were best computed as $32 million. DataQuill’s asserted claims came from patents 6,058,304 and 7,139,591, titled “Data Entry System” and “Hand Held Telecommunications and Data Entry Device.”


The patents were issued in 2000 and 2006. DataQuill began sending letters notifying ZTE of their infringing activities in 2009 and offered various license arrangements. Nokia, Motorola, Pantech, LG, Sony, Samsung, HP, HTC, and others had purchased licenses and paid royalties to the inventor, but ZTE refused, even putting out more infringing phones, both under the ZTE brand and others such as the T-Mobile Concord and the AT&T Avail.


As of March’s judgment ZTE’s back-royalties have reached $31.5 million, and will have risen since then by an unknown number. ZTE’s market cap has lost billions since spring. DataQuill is a private company.


At first, Huawei also infringed and also refused a license for these two patents, as well as for a separate patent, 7,505,785. When this case was filed, Huawei purchased a license and is now in good standing.


DataQuill was represented in Eastern District of Texas case 2:13-cv-00633-JRG by Parker C Folse III, Andres C Healy, Brian R Hogue, Floyd G Short, and Joseph S Grinstein of Susman Godfrey; Blaine A Larson, Robert A Bullwinkel, and Leslie V Payne of Heim, Payne & Chorush; Thomas Ward, Jack Hill, and Claire A Henry of Longview’s Ward, Smith & Hill; Sidney Capshaw, Elizabeth DeRieux, and Daymon Rambin of Gladewater’s Capshaw DeRieux; and Nathan Davis of the Whirlpool Corporation.


ZTE was represented by Chitra Kalyanaraman, Brian Klock, Edmund Haughey, Feng Xu, Michael Sandonato, and Natalie Lieber of Fitpatrick Cella harper & Scinto; Adam Conrad, Alex Skucas, Anup Shah, Christopher Carnaval, and Robert F Perry of King & Spaulding; Everett Upshaw and David Bailey of Upshaw; Craig Ulrich of Craig Ulrich Law; and, locally, Eric Findlay of Findlay Craft.


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