Blog Tag: patent infringement
According to the annual Top 100 Verdicts report by ALM’s VerdictSearch, five jury verdicts for Intellectual Property cases cracked the top 10 with a sixth breaking into the top 25 verdicts of 2016. While the amounts do not account for judicial reductions, offsets or appeals, the report indicates that the more than $4.67 billion in total jury awards from the top 6 IP verdicts alone show that intellectual property cases dominated the Top 100 in terms of total dollars awarded.
The publication ranked Idenix‘s $2.54 billion royalty share of Gilead Sciences‘ profits from two blockbuster hepatitis C drugs as the #1 IP verdict and #3 overall on its list of “Top 100 Verdicts of 2016.” According to the report, Idenix successfully asserted that Gilead willfully infringed Idenix’s patents relating to an antiviral compound used in the treatment of hepatitis C, resulting what commentators have stated is the largest patent infringement verdict in U.S. history.
The second highest IP verdict in VerdictSearch’s 2016 list, $940 million (including $700 million in punitive damages), went to medical software company Epic Systems in what commentators have said is one of the largest trade-secrets verdicts on record. According to the report, Epic successfully asserted that Tata misappropriated information related to Epic’s health care software.
The #3 and #4 IP verdicts of 2016 according to VerdictSearch, $625 million and $302 million, respectively, went to technology patent-holder VirnetX for infringement of four of VirnetX’s internet security patents infringement by several Apple products, including iPhones and iPads.
Merck won the 5th largest IP verdict of the year according to VerdictSearch, a $200 million award against Gilead. The report noted that Gilead Sciences v. Merck & Co. involved infringement of different patents relating to the same drug compound as the Idenix case. The case was filed by Gilead as a declaratory judgment action, but Merck & Co. won on its counterclaim.
CardiAQ‘s $70 million win in CardiAQ Valve Technologies, Inc. v. Neovasc Inc. was listed in VerdictSearch as the #6 IP verdict and tied for #21 overall. As noted in a previous post here, according to the report, the jury found that Neovasc breached the non-disclosure agreement between the parties, misappropriated CardiAQ’s trade secrets, and breached its duty of honest performance to CardiAQ.
According to the report, the 11 IP verdicts in the top 100 totaled approximately $4.8 billion, more than a threefold increase from 2015, when the total was $1.43 billion.
Sportbrain Holdings LLC (“Sportbrain”) is a company that was previously engaged in the business of selling fitness trackers. Sportbrain recently sued eight smartwatch manufacturers for alleged infringement of its U.S. Patent No. 7,454,002 (“the ’002 patent”), which describes a method of capturing and analyzing personal data of a user and providing feedback to the user based on the analysis. FIGS. 1B and 3 of the ’002 patent are reproduced below. These defendants included Jawbone, Frédérique Constant, Apple, Michael Kors, HP, BLOCKS Wearables, Razer, and New Balance. The complaint in each case identified a smartwatch or fitness tracker (having an accelerometer, motion sensor, pedometer, calorie counter, and/or gyroscope) and its companion app as the accused product.
A day after Sportbrain filed its most recent lawsuit, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) granted a petition for inter partes review (IPR) of the ’002 patent. The IPR petition had been filed on July 22, 2016 by Unified Patents. According to its website, Unified Patents is a member-based organization seeking to deter non-practicing entity activity in specific technology areas. Unified Patents argued in its petition that the claims of the ’002 patent were obvious over four different combinations of prior art references.
In instituting the IPR proceeding, the PTAB concluded that the petitioner’s evidence established a reasonable likelihood that the combinations of prior art references would render all of the claims of the ’002 patent obvious.
The ’002 patent is now the subject of over 40 active cases brought by Sportbrain.
In 2011, DePuy-Synthes, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson Inc. sued Globus Medical, Inc. in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. In that suit, Synthes alleged that Globus had infringed three Synthes patents (U.S. Patent Nos. 7,846,207; 7,862,616; and 7,875,076) all directed to intervertebral implants.
The jury found that Synthes’ patents were valid and that three of Globus’ intervertebral implant products infringed those patents. The jury awarded Synthes $16 million in damages, representing a 15% royalty on Globus’ sales of infringing products.
In December 2014, Synthes learned that its damages expert, Richard Gering, did not have a Ph.D., as he had testified under oath. Synthes notified the court and Globus the following day.
Globus argued in a brief, filed April 24th, 2015, that it should be granted a new trial because it is impossible to quantify how much the discredited expert’s testimony influenced the jury’s decision. Synthes responded that because Globus did not offer evidence that the expert’s testimony itself was factually incorrect, it could not establish that a new trial is warranted. Mr. Gering testified only on damages, and not on validity or infringement. Therefore, Synthes argued that there is no reason to grant a new trial.
The Patent Trial and Appeals Board (the “Board”) recently issued Final Written Decisions disposing of two inter partes reviews that NuVasive filed in mid-2013 regarding U.S. patent number 8,444,696 (the ’696 Patent). The ’696 Patent is entitled “Anatomic spinal implant having anatomic bearing surfaces” and, according to its abstract, “is directed to an interbody spinal implant having a structural configuration that provides for maintaining the normal anatomic relationship of two adjacent vertebrae of the spine.” According to the USPTO Assignment Database, the patent application that later became the ’696 patent was assigned on May 17, 2005 by its inventor to SDGI Holdings, Inc., then was assigned on April 28, 2006 by SDGI Holdings, Inc. to Warsaw Orthopedic, Inc.
In its recent Final Written Decision disposing of IPR2013-00395, the Board determined that NuVasive showed by a preponderance of the evidence that claims 1–6 of the ’696 Patent are unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a) as obvious over the combination of three references, Michelson, Wagner, and Brantigan. In its recent Final Written Decision disposing of IPR2013-00396, the Board determined that NuVasive showed by a preponderance of the evidence that claims 7-12 of the ’696 Patent are unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a) as obvious over a different combination of three references, including Steffee, Michelson, and Kim.
On August 17, 2012, Warsaw Orthopedic, Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Medtronic Puerto Rico, and Osteotech filed a complaint against NuVasive alleging infringement of U.S. patents numbers 8,021,430 and 5,676,146. In its two petitions for inter partes review, NuVasive stated that Warsaw Orthopedic asked the Court for permission to add the ’696 patent to the lawsuit. On July 24, 2013 Warsaw’s request was granted.
Bonutti Skeletal Innovations, LLC brought a patent infringement suit against Globus Medical, Inc. in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on November 19, 2014. The lawsuit alleges that several of Globus Medical’s spinal spacer products and related instruments infringe Bonutti Skeletal patents.
The asserted Bonutti Skeletal patents include U.S. Patent No. 6,099,531, entitled “Changing Relationships Between Bones,” which issued on August 8, 2000. The patent discusses the use of a wedge member in a joint to alter the relative positioning of a patient’s bones.
Specifically, Bonutti Skeletal alleges that Globus Medical’s CALIBER, CALIBER-L, COALITION, COLONIAL, CONTINENTAL, FORGE, FORTIFY, FORTIFY I PEEK, FORTIFY I-R, INDEPENDENCE, INTERCONTINENTAL, MONUMENT, NIKO, RISE, SIGNATURE, SUSTAIN ARCH, SUSTAIN LARGE, SUSTAIN MEDIUM, SUSTAIN-O, SUSTAIN SMALL, and TRANSCONTINENTAL spinal spacer products each infringe various Bonutti Skeletal patents.
According to the Complaint, Bonutti Skeletal has been built on the work of Dr. Peter M. Bonutti, an orthopedic surgeon that has performed over 20,000 orthopedic surgical procedures and been the inventor or co-inventor on over 150 U.S. patents.
Globus Medical’s website states that “Globus Medical, Inc. is a leading musculoskeletal implant manufacturer and is driving significant technological advancements across a complete suite of spinal products.”
The complaint and asserted patents are available here.