Delaware District Court Judge Stark granted AVX’s motion to set aside the damages verdict. The reason for the set aside was solely because the jury verdict form did not separate damages for each patent accused, and thus constituted a damages award for all patents and all products.
Judge Stark himself observes this case possesses “a convoluted history.” It seems that Judge Stark sanctioned AVX because of its late production of core technical documents relevant to the infringement issues on one of the four patents in suit (i.e., the ‘715 patent). The sanctions levied involved the judge granting a motion for summary judgment that all of AVX’s Ingenio products infringed the ‘715 patent. When the case proceeded to trial concerning the three other patents in suit, the jury returned a damages award in the form of a lump sum of $37.5 million for infringement of all four patents by all of AVX’s accused products. After the jury trial, the court granted a motion for reconsideration of the sanctions. A new trial for the ‘715 patent was held and the result was that the jury found no infringement concerning some of AVX’s Ingenio products, while finding infringement with regard to a smaller subset of Ingenio products.
The reason for the jury award set-aside is attributed to the jury verdict form, which failed to request damages figures on a patent-specific and product-specific basis. Citing two Federal Circuit cases (Verizon Services Corporation v. Vonage Holdings Corp. and DDR Holdings, LLC v. Hotels.com, L.P.), the judge’s opinion seems to provide the only solution – a new trial on damages.
Important to note, AVX initially requested that the verdict form offer a damages line on a patent-by-patent basis; however, Greatbatch prevailed with its insistence for the general verdict form ultimately provided to the jury. Note in this instance, however, that because not all accused Ingenio products were found to infringe the ‘715 patent, a patent-by-patent jury verdict form might not have obviated the need for a new trial on damages under these specific circumstances.