Patent Damages
30Mar/17Off

DDE cites need for numerical calculation for apportionment, and cites non-technology factors and use patterns as contributing to value

Posted by Chris Marchese

The District of Delaware, Judge Andrews presiding, in Comcast IP Holdings I LLC v. Sprint Communications Co., Civil Action No. 12-205-RGA (D. Del. Sept. 29, 2014), issued a brief order concerning apportionment.  Judge Andrews was faced with a motion in limine seeking to exclude profits and and/or revenues relating to the accused products as violating the entire market value rule (EMVR).  The court decided that the briefing was not “enough for a good decision, and asked for further submissions including a proffer of the Comcast expert’s testimony.”  Slip op. at 1.  A proffer was thus requested.

24Mar/17Off

CAFC issues detailed opinion on apportionment and lost profits; apportionment not required when Panduit test is met

Posted by Chris Marchese

The Federal Circuit, in Mentor Graphics Corp. v. Eve-USA, Inc. (also including Synopsys, Inc. as a defendant), Nos. 2015-1470, 2015-1554, 2015-1556 (Fed. Cir. March 16, 2017) (Judge Moore authoring), issued an opinion addressing apportionment and lost profits damages.  The case addressed an open question that has gone both ways in district courts:  whether lost profits requires further apportionment on top of the Panduit test.  In other words, if a patentee is able to prove-up lost profits under Panduit, must the patentee apportion those lost profits to determine the incremental value of the patented feature vis-à-vis any unpatented features?  The court answered the question in the negative, but reserved judgment on whether the same outcome would attach in all lost profits cases, particularly where the patentee relied on a theory other than Panduit to prove lost profits.  Because the case is replete with meaningful language, the following summary consists mainly of direct quotes.

30Dec/16Off

EDTX denies exclusion of settlement license and “real estate” apportionment

Posted by Chris Marchese

The Eastern District of Texas, in ZiiLabs, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., (Judge Roy S. Payne) (December 4, 2015), granted in part and denied in part defendant’s motion to exclude various opinions from plaintiff’s damages expert, Robert Mills.

Grounds:

  • Defendant sought to exclude expert’s reliance on litigation settlement license covering 100 patents as not economically comparable and not the most reliable license in the record.
  • Defendants sought to exclude expert’s reliance on licensing negotiations that never resulted in executed licenses, and were not technically comparable.
  • Defendant sought to exclude apportionment based on surface area of accused element on the chip.
  • Defendants sought to exclude expert’s testimony on several economic theories

Outcome: Defendant’s motion was granted-in-part as to all references to unconsummated license agreements and denied as to the remainder

Analysis:

  • Litigation settlement license (Denied)

The court declined to exclude the Plaintiff’s expert’s (damages expert) opinion based on a license between the Samsung and a third party (MicroUnity) that covered 100 U.S. and foreign patents, and arose out of a litigation settlement. Slip op. at 3. The expert calculated his effective royalty rate based on the value of 10 of the patents in the license, justifying this by stating that in certain patent groups, 10% of the patents account for 81% to 93% of the value of the portfolio. Id. at 3–4. The expert also selected a license period based on the expiration dates of most of the patents, and a second license period based on the expiration of the last patent in the portfolio. Id. at 4. The court allowed these opinions because they were testable and supported by publications, or, in the case of the licensing periods could be challenged on cross-examination. Id. at 5.

The court rejected defendant’s arguments that the MicroUnity license was not economically or technically comparable. Regarding economic comparability, the court stated that, while LaserDyanmics, Inc. v. Quanta Comput., Inc., discouraged relying on litigation settlements, if there were no more reliable licenses in the record, they could be used. 694 F.3d 51, 77 (Fed. Cir. 2012); Slip op. at 5. The court found the license agreement proposed by defendants was not “more reliable” because it was also a settlement agreement, and thus declined to exclude the expert’s testimony on the MicroUnity agreement. Slip op. at 6–7.  Regarding technical comparability, the court found the damages expert’s reliance on the technical expert’s opinion was proper and sufficient to establish technical comparability. Id. at 7.

  • Unconsummated license negotiations (Granted)

The court granted Samsung’s motion with regard to four licensing negotiations between Apple and Samsung that were never executed. Slip op. at 8. The court agreed that Plaintiff had not shown how the negotiations were factually analogous to the hypothetical negotiation, because Apple and Samsung were direct competitors, whereas Plaintiff and Defendant were not. Id. at 8–9.

  • Surface area apportionment (Denied)

The expert analyzed the surface area that the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) covered of the System-on-Chip (Soc), stating that the area of an SoC will be budgeted to various components based on the value of the component. Id. at 9–10. He used this value to qualitatively analyze the profit that should be credited to the invention, and then used it to adjust the royalty rate for the asserted patent upward. Id. at 10. He did not appear to use the surface area analysis as the royalty base. Id. at 10.  The court declined to exclude the expert’s opinion because he explained his method, and the defendant could challenge it on cross-examination. Id.

  • Various economic theories (Denied)

The expert also used 3 economic theories in his hypothetical negotiation analysis: 1) “settlement discounts” based on litigation uncertainty; 2) that a significant majority of the value of a patent portfolio is concentrated in a small subset of the patents in the portfolio; and 3) a survey discussion of running and lump-sum royalties. Id. at 11. The court allowed each of these because the expert tied the discussion of each theory to the facts and evidence of the case. See id. at 11.

 

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Fields to the side (on the right):

 

Date:     12/04/2015

Court: E.D. Tex.

Judge:  Roy S. Payne

Area of Law:  Patent Law, reasonable royalty, apportionment, hypothetical negotiation, real estate apportionment, surface area apportionment

Expert’s name: Robert Mills

Area of Expertise, Technology or Science: Economics Expert, Damages Expert

 

23Dec/16Off

DDE denies request to strike lost profits opinion re non-patented items; addresses test data admissibility

Posted by Chris Marchese

The District of Delaware, in Masimo Corp. v. Philips Elec. North Am. Corp., (Judge Leonard P. Stark) (October 31, 2016), addressed motions to strike opinions of several experts related to damages.  The experts in question were Michael Keeley (Finance), Joseph Dyro (Technical), Nitin Shah (Technical), Vijai Madisetti (Finance), and Michael Wagner (Finance).  The court granted in part and denied in part the motions.  The key motions are addressed below.

6Oct/16Off

EDTX denies exclusion of settlement license and “real estate” apportionment

Posted by Chris Marchese

The Eastern District of Texas, in ZiiLabs, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., (Judge Roy S. Payne) (December 4, 2015), granted in part and denied in part defendant’s motion to exclude various opinions from plaintiff’s damages expert, Robert Mills.

6Sep/16Off

D.Ariz excludes expert for not apportioning the rate, but OKs entire product as base

Posted by Chris Marchese

The District of Arizona, in GoDaddy.com LLC v. RPost Communications Limited, Case No. CV-14-00126-PHX-JAT (Judge James A. Teilborg) (May 10, 2016), excluded the entire report of Defendant’s damages expert, Gregory Smith, but allowed a do-over.

Plaintiff GoDaddy moved to exclude Smith’s testimony under FRE 702, asserting two grounds: (1) Smith inappropriately accounted for non-infringing features in his royalty rate analysis rather than apportioning the royalty base, and (2) because Smith used the entire revenue of the accused product as the royalty base, he necessarily applied the entire market value rule (“EMVR”) but failed to demonstrate that the patented features form the basis of consumer demand.  Defendant RPost denied that Smith applied the EMVR, arguing that the accused products were the smallest saleable unit (“SSU”), and the Federal Circuit has never defined a particular formula for apportioning damages for SSUs.  Smith used the operating margin of the accused products and apportioned the royalty rate instead of the royalty base.

25Aug/16Off

DDE excludes settlement agreements; allows licenses as a “check”; addresses apportionment of accused products & services

Posted by Chris Marchese

The District of Delaware, in ART+Com Innovation GMBH v. Google Inc., Case No. 14-217-RGA (Judge Richard G. Andrews) (April 28, 2016), considered several motions related to royalty calculations. In a previous blog post, we addressed the motion for reconsideration of the 13% apportionment issue addressed below.  This post covers the earlier order addressing that issue plus others.

Plaintiff ART+Com Innovation (“ACI”) challenged the reliance of Google’s expert Reed on seven licenses as a "check" on his reasonable royalty analysis.  Five of these licenses were settlement agreements.  The court excluded these (except as to their lump-sum nature) because they were products of litigation and not economically comparable.  The other two licenses were the product of licensing negotiations.  ACI disputed that these licenses were technologically comparable.  The court allowed these licenses because Reed acknowledged the differences, and his analysis was consonant with using the licenses as a "check" against his reasonable royalty calculations.  The jury could then weigh the evidence for itself.

15Aug/16Off

NDCA excludes expert testimony for failure to apportion (including addressing claim scope argument)

Posted by Chris Marchese

The Northern District of California, in Nortek Air Solutions, LLC v. Energy Lab Corp., No. 14-cv-02919-BLE (July 15, 2016) (Judge Beth Labson Freeman), granted Energy Labs’ Daubert motion to exclude testimony of Nortek’s damages expert, Dr. Stephen Prowse, regarding reasonable royalty damages.  The motion included three reasons; we address the first one here:  “Dr. Prowse’s royalty analysis fails to apportion the value of the allegedly patented features from the unpatented features in the accused products ….”  Slip op. at 8.  The accused products were air handling systems.

In response to the motion, Nortek argued that Dr. Prowse had properly relied on the value of the accused air handling system as a whole rather than a smaller component for several reasons:  (1) “because the asserted claims are directed to the entire air handling unit rather than any individual features,” and (2) because “the air handling unit is the smallest saleable unit and thus an appropriate royalty base.”  Id.

31May/16Off

District of Delaware allows 13% apportionment methodology

The District of Delaware, in ART+COM InnovationPool GMBH v. Google Inc., (Judge Dyk) (May 16, 2016), denied Defendant’s motion for reconsideration, allowing Plaintiff’s apportionment theory to proceed to the jury.

Plaintiff’s expert, James Nawrocki, calculated per-session damages. Defendant argued that Mr. Nawrocki’s theory included improper categories of revenue in the royalty base and an unsupportable 13% apportionment. (slip op. at 5). With regard to the categories of revenue, Defendant argued that Mr. Nawrocki should not have started with the revenue from the entire Geo Product group. The Court said:

20Apr/16Off

EDTX denies Daubert motions involving apportionment, entire market value rule, license agreements, and patent valuations

Posted by Chris Marchese

The Eastern District of Texas, in Core Wireless Licensing SARL v. LG Electronics, Inc. et al, Case No. 2-14-cv-00911 (Judge Payne) (March 19, 2016), addressed motions filed by both parties seeking to exclude the other party’s damages expert’s opinions and testimony. LG, the alleged infringer, filed a motion to exclude the opinions of Core’s damages expert, Dr. Stephen Magee, on Daubert and untimeliness grounds. Similarly, Core, the patent owner, sought to exclude the opinions of LG’s damages expert, Dr. Thomas Vander Veen, on the same grounds. The court concluded that both experts’ opinions were reliable under FRE 702, and thus denied both parties’ Daubert motions. The court also concluded that the parties’ late disclosures were harmless and denied the parties’ motions to exclude the adverse party’s supplemental report for untimeliness.