Court declines to grant enhanced damages in Motorola patent infringement ruling

By John Sammon | Dec 20, 2017

MARSHALL – The Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas on Dec. 8 denied enhanced damage awards for Saint Lawrence Communications (SLC) in a dispute with competitor Motorola Mobility LLC, but did award product royalties and related court costs for patent infringement by Motorola.

MARSHALL – The Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas on Dec. 8 denied enhanced damage awards for Saint Lawrence Communications (SLC) in a dispute with competitor Motorola Mobility LLC, but did award product royalties and related court costs for patent infringement by Motorola.

SLC, a Plano-based speech and audio technology company, brought suit against Motorola Mobility LLC, a Chicago-based producer of smartphones, consumer electronics and telecommunications, over patent infringement allegations. A trial commenced in March 2017, a jury decided that infringement had taken place by Motorola and a more than $9 million award was issued.

SLC filed a motion to receive enhanced damages and also motions for ongoing royalties, pre- and post-judgement interest, taxable costs and supplemental damages.

The court ruled against an enhanced damage award for SLC noting that Motorola’s infringement was not a result of that company deliberately copying SLC’s technology, in this case the production of a computerized chip.

“There is no basis to conclude that Motorola had intent to harm SLC,” the court brief read.

The motion by SLC for enhanced damages was denied.

On the issue of SLC’s motion for ongoing royalties, SLC requested that the court award the company 78 cents for each of Motorola’s AMR-WB products (wideband speech audio coding improves speech quality). Attorneys for Motorola argued that any royalty determination would be premature and that the company should not have to pay more than a 39-cent-per-unit rate.

The court decided that ongoing royalty rates should be the 39-cent rate, the same rate decided on by the trial jury, as appropriate to compensate SLC for Motorola’s infringement.

The court also awarded SLC a prejudgment interest based on a five-year U.S. Treasury T-bill rate compounded monthly, an award of post-judgement interest, taxable costs and supplemental damages at a rate of 39 cents per infringing unit.            

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