MARSHALL – Rembrandt Wireless Technologies can expect a few millions dollars less than a federal jury in Texas awarded a little more than three years ago in the company's patent lawsuit against Samsung Electronics following a judge's recent decision.
U.S. District Court Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas granted a Rembrandt motion to amend the judgment and reduced the $15.7 million award to $11.1 million, according to his opinion and order issued March 28. Samsung had sought an even larger reduction as part of an updated damages calculation in the Bluetooth technology complaint.
"The court concludes Rembrandt's approach is the one best supported by the record and the verdict for reducing damages in light of its acquiescence on the marking issue," Gilstrap said in his order.
Rembrandt Wireless Technologies filed a motion to amend the judgment and sought to "'strip out' from the jury’s award those royalties tied to pre-complaint sales on a per-unit royalty calculation," according to Gilstrap's order.
"Samsung disputes the propriety of Rembrandt's per-unit approach, which is based on per-unit sales, and instead advances a per-day calculation," the order said. "The difference in the parties' approaches amounts to roughly $2.4 million in damages."
Rembrandt Wireless Technologies patent infringement lawsuit, first filed in March 2013, against the Korean tech giant Samsung concerns two patents in particular, one filed in 2009 and the other filed in 2011.
"These patents concern systems and methods to facilitate communications between network modems," Gilstrap explained in his order. "Rembrandt alleged specifically that the asserted claims covered Samsung's devices incorporating a particular Bluetooth standard."
In February 2015, a jury deliberated only one hour before awarding Rembrandt Wireless $15.7 million in damages after finding Samsung had infringed on its two patents and that Samsung had not made its case that the disputed claims were invalid.
This past February, Gilstrap "in all things denied" Samsung's renewed motion for a new trial on liability issues, saying he found "no compelling basis upon which the jury's verdict with regard to liability should be disturbed."
"The jury's verdict in this respect is supported by substantial evidence and should stand unchanged by this court," Gilstrap said in his February order. "Further, the court finds that Samsung is not entitled to a new trial on liability."
Since then, Samsung has continued to push for an approach that would reduce the jury-awarded damages further than Rembrandt's approach, but Gilstrap said in his March order that "the trial record as a whole supports Rembrandt's approach, but it does not support Samsung's."
"At trial, Rembrandt's expert calculated a reasonable royalty of between 5 cents and 11 cent per infringing unit, and the jury's award fell squarely within that range," Gilstrap said in his order. "In contrast, there are no compelling reasons to adopt Samsung's approach. The jury did not award a fully paid-up lump sum, despite Samsung's contentions otherwise. ... Further, Samsung never advanced a per-day royalty at trial.
"The court has been directed to 'strip out' pre-notice sales and in so doing must make some reasonable inference about the jury’s verdict. Rembrandt's approach best aligns with the most reasonable inferences which the court can fairly [conclude] about the jury's award. Accordingly, Rembrandt's motion should be granted."