By DAVID YATES
The U.S. branch of a China-based company was hit with $31.5 million patent infringement verdict Thursday.
Plaintiff DataQuill, a limited company organized under the laws of the British Virgin Islands, filed suit against ZTE Corp. and its U.S. subsidiary on Aug. 16, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Texas, Marshall Division.
Nearly two years later, a Texas federal jury found ZTE USA had infringed on two of the companies patents, awarding $31.5 million in damages, court records show.
In its original complaint, DataQuill accused ZTE of infringing on:
- U.S. Patent No. 6,058,304 issued May 2, 2000, for Data Entry System;
- U.S. Patent No. 7,139,591 issued Nov. 21, 2006, for Hand Held Telecommunications and Data Entry Device;
- U.S. Patent No. 7,505,785 issued March 17, 2009, for Data Entry Systems;
- U.S. Patent No. 7,902,898 issued April 5, 2011, for Data Entry Systems; and
- U.S. Patent No. 8,290,538 issued Oct. 16, 2012, for Data Entry Systems.
Jurors found that ZTE infringed on four claims of the ‘304 patent and one claim for the ‘591 patent.
For more than a decade, DataQuill says it has sought to protect its invention through a licensing program, court records state.
Many of the largest high-tech companies, including HTC, Nokia, Motorola, LG, Samsung, Palm, and HewlettPackard, have purchased a license to DataQuill’s patent portfolio, earning the company more than $75 million in licensing revenue.
DataQuill alleged ZTE infringed on its patents by importing smartphones into the U.S. that enable users to download apps, games, books and so on.
On Dec. 23, 2009, DataQuill sent a letter to ZTE informing the company that it was infringing on the ‘304 patent, but ZTE refused to enter into a licensing agreement.
At trial, ZTE failed to convince jurors that the claims on DataQuill’s ‘304 and ‘591 patents were invalid.
DataQuill is represented by Parker C. Folse III of Susman Godfrey LLP in Seattle, Wash., Joseph S. Grinstein of Susman Godfrey LLP in Houston; Leslie V. Payne, Michael F. Heim, Nathan J. Davis and Robert Allan Bullwinkel of Heim, Payne & Chorush LLP in Houston; Douglas R. Wilson of Heim, Payne & Chorush LLP in Austin; S. Calvin Capshaw III and Elizabeth L. DeRieux of Capshaw Derieux LLP in Gladewater; and T. John Ward Jr. of Ward & Smith Law Firm in Longview.
Case No. 2:13-cv-00634