Yesterday, InterDigital prevailed in its Delaware jury trial against ZTE where the jury found that ZTE’s accused phones infringe each asserted claims of InterDigital’s U.S. Patent Nos. 7,190,966, 7,286,847, and 8,380,244. The verdict form also shows that the jury found none of the asserted claims to be invalid as obvious. The jury was not asked to make any finding on issues related to damages, ZTE’s FRAND-related affirmative defenses, and ZTE’s FRAND-related counterclaims, all of which were bifurcated from patent liability issues by the parties’ joint stipulation and will be tried at a later date. As you may recall from our May 30, 2014 post, Judge Andrews previously dismissed ZTE’s amended FRAND counterclaims against InterDigital, ruling that the declaratory judgment actions would not serve a useful purpose in the context of the parties’ ongoing litigation and that ZTE’s affirmative defenses adequately encompassed the FRAND-related issues. In accord with the jury’s verdict, the Court entered judgment in favor of InterDitigal on plaintiff’s infringement counts and ZTE’s invalidity counterclaim as to the patents-at-issue. We note that the judgment does not extend to ZTE’s FRAND-related counterclaims or defenses that have yet to be litigated.
The jury verdict stands in contrast to ALJ Essex’s June 2014 Initial Determination in Inv. No. 337-TA-868 — InterDigital’s ITC case against ZTE — finding that ZTE and Nokia had not infringed the same ‘966 and ‘847 patents that were at issue in the Delaware case. As discussed in our July 2, 2014 post, ALJ Essex’s Initial Determination, which was affirmed by the Commission on review, provided a sharp critique of respondents that assert FRAND defenses without having first availed themselves of SSO procedures for resolving situations where licenses are not available. The ITC decision is currently up on appeal to the Federal Circuit, with oral arguments to take place next month.