Delaware District Court Judge Andrews issued an order and an opinion regarding patent infringement damages analyses by Richard Bero and Scott W. Cragun. Judge Andrews granted in part the motion to exclude Mr. Cragun, while denying the motion to exclude Mr. Bero.
The alleged infringing product is a sleep belt that was used together with a non-accused sleep monitor. Plaintiff’s expert Mr. Cragun was excluded from issuing some, but not all of his lost profit opinions regarding accused belt sales. Mr. Cragun advanced the view that, but for the alleged infringement, 75 percent of accused belts would have been sold by plaintiff Nox. The basis for his 75 percent figure was grounded in three different categories of belt consumers: 1) those Nox monitor consumers who purchased the accused belt, 2) those Natus monitor consumers who, but-for infringement, would have purchased both Nox’s monitor and Nox’s belt, and 3) those consumers of defendant’s monitor or other third-party monitors, for which consumers would purchase an accused belt.
Judge Andrews allowed Mr. Cragun’s lost profit calculations on #1 (i.e., the installed base of Nox monitor users), but found that his categories #2 and #3 above were speculative.
With regard to category #2, Judge Andrews notes that Mr. Cragun failed to “identify a single customer who would have but did not purchase Plaintiff’s device due to Defendant’s alleged infringement.” With regard to category #3, Judge Andrews explains that Nox only had adapters which connected its patented belt to its own monitor base. To substantiate his third category, Mr. Cragun would have had to prove that “an adapter would have been available in the United States to use Plaintiff’s patented belt with Defendant’s or third-parties’ sleep-monitoring devices.” Mr. Cragun failed to prove any such adapter was available.
Judge Andrews did find Mr. Bero’s reasonable royalty calculation to be based on an acceptable methodology and chose not to exclude those opinions, despite what appears to be a strong motion by the plaintiffs. Mr. Bero appears to have used a novel method as the starting point for his royalty rate considerations: namely, he multiplied the estimate of plaintiff’s lost sales (i.e., 15%) times defendant’s profit margin on accused products to establish his starting point:
We will await to see whether the jury is convinced.