This recent opinion is a lesson in, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again,” and for defendant Fairchild, the third time proved the charm.
You see, when plaintiff’s damages expert, Dr. Putnam, first offered his opinion that the parties at the hypothetical negotiation would anticipate “lost sales, reduction in price due to competition, and lost licensing fees,” A2C doubted Judge Chesney would approve such methodology. When she did (on two occasions), we figured that the Federal Circuit would finally disapprove of the reduction-in-price analysis.
Alas, the Federal Circuit remanded this matter for a new damages trial… but not on the reduction-in-price analysis issue of interest to us. Rather, the remand was based on misapplication of the entire market value rule.
This litigation began years ago. At the first trial, the jury found that all but one patent was infringed and awarded Power Integrations $105 million. Less than a week after Judge Chesney’s denial of the JMOL on that verdict, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion in VirnetX. Accordingly, Fairchild requested – and was granted – a new damages trial based on violation of the entire market value rule. That ensuing trial, as the Federal Circuit observes in this recent opinion, resulted in a verdict of $139.8 million “based on damages testimony that relied solely on the entire market value rule.” An additional question on the verdict form asked whether the patented feature created the basis for consumer demand, to which the jury marked, “Yes.” After that trial and subsequent denial on JMOL, Fairchild appealed to the Federal Circuit which ruled in favor of Fairchild and remanded for further proceedings.
While much of this Federal Circuit opinion constitutes a summary of past entire market value rule matters, the court did provide the following valuable and pointed guidance for attorneys & damages experts alike:
With regard to the case at hand, Fairchild reaps the reward of determination: