MARSHALL -- A jury in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas has ordered LG Electronics MobileComm U.S.A. and parent LG Electronics, Inc. to pay Core Wireless Licensing $2.8 million based on a royalty rate of 6 cents per unit of smartphone sales for willfully infringing on two patents that Core acquired when it purchased intellectual property rights to Nokia wireless telecommunications and smartphone technology.
Moving forward, the judge will determine if willful infringement was involved, in which case he has the discretion to impose additional damages that could treble the damages award. In addition, Core's attorneys will file a motion assess future LG smartphone sales at the same royalty rate during a post-trial hearing.
Registered as a business in Luxembourg, Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. is owned by Ontario-based Conversant Intellectual Property Management, Inc. The patents-in suit enhance mobile data transmissions and smartphone battery life, a Core Wireless spokesperson told SE Texas Record.
"We are very pleased with the verdict," Conversant CEO John Lindgren said in a news release. "We appreciate the efforts of the court and the jury. This confirms the strength of the Core Wireless portfolio."
Core's patented technology is used in LG phones sold in the U.S. that use 2G, GSM and 3G UMTS wireless network technology, the spokesperson said.
The damages award wasn't the first time Core has successfully sued LG for patent infringement, Core's spokesperson noted.
In March, a U.S. district court jury ordered LG to pay Core $3.5 million in damages based on a rate of 10 cents per unit for use of technology covered in two patents related to touchscreen mobile phone user interfaces. Disputing the ruling and assessment of damages, LG filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) or, alternatively, a new trial on the issues of infringement, validity and damages.
The court concluded that the calculation of damages by Core's expert witness was not adequately justified. The judge granted LG's motion for a new trial on damages but denied its JMOL motion or a new trial on infringement and validity.
In contrast to the patents at issue in March's district court decision, the two at issue in the recent case are essential industry standards that are routinely incorporated in all smartphones, the spokesperson said.
It was a relatively straightforward matter to explain the technical details and basis for Core's patent infringement claim to the jury in the first trial.
¨It was very easy to see the elements of the claim on screen and walk them through it,¨ said Core's spokesperson.
That wasn't the case in the second patent infringement trial.
¨This latter case was very complex," the spokesperson said. "We had to use all kinds of tutorials, animated slides and other visual aids as our expert walked through the process of what the technology does.
¨It took some creative thinking to present that to lay people but, in the end, they clearly got it and came up with the correct decision.¨
The damages award for the initial two patent infringements are potentially worth in the tens of millions, perhaps as much as $40 million to Core, he estimated. The last of these will not expire until 2032.
The potential value of the second is lower, given the lower royalty rate and that one of the two patents has only one year left until expiration. The other has many years left, Core's spokesperson said.
¨This latest court decision is good news for us,¨ he said. ¨It says a lot about the strengths of the portfolio when two different juries validate four different patents – two in the first and two in the last suit.¨