A banner year for billion-dollar patent verdicts

The National Law Journal

Top Verdicts of the Year

The No. 1 verdict of 2012 was $1.17 billion, awarded to Carnegie Mellon University, represented by K&L Gates, on December 26. Carnegie Mellon sued Marvell Technology Group Ltd. in 2009, alleging that the company's computer chips infringed two patents developed by the university. Quinn, Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan represented Marvell during the four-week trial in Pittsburgh. John Quinn of the firm said the case is "far from over." One ground for reversal, he said, was that 80 percent of the damages were for sales outside the United States, which "should not be recoverable."

The second largest verdict of last year was $1.049 billion, awarded to Apple Inc. on August 24 in a closely watched trial in San Jose, Calif. The jury found that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. had willfully infringed six patents tied to smartphones and tablet devices, but it ruled against Apple on antitrust and contract claims. Since the award, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh denied Apple's bid to ban Samsung's infringing products in the United States. She also threw out the jury's finding that Apple willfully infringed, which prevents Apple from seeking triple damages.

THE TOP 100 VERDICTS OF 2012
The full list of the largest verdict awards of the past year. 

IP Awards Dominate
Intellectual property verdicts represented the largest category in number and dollar value last year. The category has contributed one verdict higher than $1 billion in each of the three prior years. But this year's list of top verdicts was notable in that three verdicts reached the $1 billion mark or higher, and all of them came out of high-stakes trials.

In No. 3 Verdict, Monsanto Wins $1B Over Seed Patent 
After three weeks of trial in a closely watched patent case involving genetically modified soybeans, a federal jury in St. Louis, Mo., took just one hour to return a $1 billion verdict against E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.