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On the third day of trial in the Eastern District of Texas, the judge directed a verdict against the plaintiffs and in favor of Finnegan clients ADT Security Systems, Inc. and Digital Security Controls, Ltd. on all claims.  The plaintiffs were seeking damages for the alleged infringement of a patent relating to a telephone line coupler circuit.  The judge’s ruling for the defendants followed in the wake of a number of favorable rulings on pretrial motions that narrowed the scope of the case.

LG Electronics received a favorable decision in a washing machine patent infringement case tried in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Following a four-day trial, a Delaware jury determined that three LG patents related to direct-drive front-load washing machine technology are valid and infringed by certain washing machines made by Daewoo and sold by Daewoo and its business partners in the United States.

The verdict confirms LG's innovative leadership in the direct-drive front-load washing machine field. LG’s patented technology provides consumers with large-capacity, high-spin-speed washers that produce low noise and vibration. LG's leadership and patented innovations have led to LG's No. 1 market position in U.S. sales of front-load washing machines from 2007 to the present. This trial dealt only with liability issues (validity and infringement) and the case settled soon after trial.

Nuvera Fuel Cells retained Finnegan to manage all of the company's IP portfolio assets, which were recently consolidated. Much of the management is focused on the procurement of patents, both U.S. and foreign, directed to various aspects of fuel cell technology.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a jury decision in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona in favor of Finnegan client DuPont Air Products NanoMaterials, LLC (DA NanoMaterials), holding that various tungsten Chemical Mechanical Planarization (CMP) slurries sold by DA Nanomaterials do not infringe Cabot Microelectronic’s patents.  Tungsten CMP is a process used in semiconductor manufacturing.

In a case that was settled ”on the courthouse steps,” Finnegan was able to obtain for its client BIAX Corporation a favorable settlement with Intel. During claim construction, BIAX’s construction prevailed on the issues important for infringement, which helped lead to the favorable settlement.

When Walgreen Co. faced a damage award of nearly $20 million, including prejudgment interest, for infringement of a patent on a “head chair,” the company turned to Finnegan. Although Walgreen had sold only $220,000 of the product, a jury awarded over $1 million in lost profits and another $10 million in future lost profits, which grew to nearly $20 million with interest. On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed with our argument that the jury award, and the expert testimony on which it was based, was so speculative that it could not stand. The court granted a remittitur, reducing the damage award to $220,000—the amount of actual sales—and further reversed the award of prejudgment interest as it was based on future sales that had not occurred.

When a leading patent management company wanted to generate royalties from patents developed and owned by an international group of research and operating companies, it turned to Finnegan for assistance in setting up and running a licensing and enforcement program involving a full range of activities—analyzing the patents, identifying infringers in the marketplace, negotiating and drafting license agreements, litigating to enforce the patents, and providing strategic advice throughout the process.

After more than a year of deliberations, Judge Dennis Saylor of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts handed a victory to firm client DeWalch Technologies, Inc. of Houston, Texas.  In the case, Inner-Tite Corp. of Holden, Mass. accused DeWalch of infringing a patent directed to a locking device for an electric utility meter box.   At trial, Finnegan presented evidence of no literal infringement and no infringement under the doctrine of equivalents.  The court found in favor of DeWalch on all counts.

A jury in the U.S. District Court in Delaware found that French Door refrigerators produced by Finnegan client LG Electronics do not infringe a Whirlpool patent, but found that some patent claims covered certain earlier-generation LG side-by-side refrigerators, which LG is no longer making. The jury determined that LG was not willfully infringing these claims.  Another Whirlpool patent asserted against LG was found invalid.  Whirlpool was awarded $1.78 million for infringement of the earlier-generation side-by-side refrigerators, an amount well below Whirlpool’s quest for total damages of more than $22 million.

In its highly anticipated Bilski v. Kappos decision, issued on June 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's "machine−or−transformation" test, which required that a patentable process either be tied to a machine or apparatus or involve a transformation of a particular article into a different state or thing.   The Court also affirmatively recognized that "business methods" are not categorically excluded from the scope of 35 U.S.C. § 101.   The decision was the culmination of Finnegan’s efforts on behalf of the applicants in In re Bilski, which began with the Supreme Court granting Finnegan’s petition for a writ of certiorari filed in June 2009.  The petition sought to overturn a decision issued on October 30, 2008, by the Federal Circuit which set forth a test requiring that a patentable process either be tied to a machine or apparatus or involve a transformation of one thing into something else.  While the Supreme Court affirmed the rejection of the Bilski business method patent application, its decision overturning the Federal Circuit’s machine-or-transformation test was a victory for patents on business method and software.  Finnegan made the oral argument before the Court on November 9, 2009. 


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