Yesterday the Federal Circuit issued its long-awaited Ericsson v. D-Link decision that reviewed the Judge Davis jury verdict award for RAND-obligated 802.11 standard essential patents (see our Aug. 7, 2013 post). The Federal Circuit eschews any per se rules for RAND-obligated patents–e.g., no set modified Georgia-Pacific analysis–and instructs the court to fashion damages instructions
Back in June, we alerted you to a jury verdict handed down in a patent case in the Eastern District of Texas, where the jury awarded Ericsson several million dollars as compensation for infringement of several of its 802.11-essential patents by several manufacturers of WiFi-compliant products and components. At the time, we noted that the jury only addressed issue of validity, infringement, and damages, with SEP-specific issues being potentially left for presiding Judge Leonard Davis to decide. (In fact, the court held a bench trial on RAND issues on June 12). The parties filed post-trial motions for judgment as a matter of law on several issues, and yesterday, Judge Davis issued a lengthy Memorandum Opinion and Order broadly upholding the jury’s verdict.
As we suspected, some RAND obligation-related issues reared their heads — but Judge Davis rejected the defendants’ RAND-based arguments and defenses. In doing so, he made some statements that might be construed as a marked departure from the route taken by Judge Robart in the Microsoft-Motorola case. After the jump, we’ll take a look at what Judge Davis concluded with respect to Ericsson’s RAND obligations.
Over the past few years, courts have begun cracking down on improper damages theories. The Federal Circuit’s 2012 opinion in LaserDynamics v. Quanta is instructive on this point, noting that in the absence of evidence that the patented functionality is the source of the demand for the entire product, then damages must be based on…