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June 3, 2008

Slow Boat Arrives

After seven years of pretrial jockeying, Cornell University stuck HP with a $184 million tab, capping an eight-day jury trial in North New York, CAFC Judge Randall R. Rader slumming as presiding judge. Cornell succeeded with all five claims of the asserted patent. HP failed with its invalidity, patent exhaustion, and implied license defenses.

The jury applied a royalty rate of 0.8% to a royalty base of $23 billion to derive damages. Cornell is likely to seek prejudgment interest as topping on the cake.

HP squawked displeasure, but will probably not appeal, especially considering a CAFC judge presided.

Earlier coverage in The Patent Prospector.

Posted by Patent Hawk at June 3, 2008 4:51 PM | Litigation

Comments

This will help HP and CPF's politician bribe fund, er lobbyist budget. They will cry and whine about how this is "unfair" that they have to pay anything to a mere plebian university. Also, count on an article in Slashdot where the Linux useful idiot chime in.

Posted by: anonymousAgent at June 3, 2008 10:31 PM

I am wondering how much money in damages would be paid out to some lowly "garage" inventor on the very same patent
I bet garage inventor would collect significantly smaller damages than an Ivy Leage Universty
He would also be labeled as evil "patent troll" by the likes of slashbot and techdirt
So much for patent "fairness"...

Posted by: angry dude at June 4, 2008 6:03 AM

Cornell? Who are they. Sounds like a non-practicing entity to me. They clearly don't deserve this compensation. Heck they probably had a grad student pay them and then come up with the patent. They should be paying HP to use their IP.

Posted by: why oh why at June 4, 2008 8:41 AM

And here comes the most unpleasant question for the patent "reformers" in Congress to answer:
Are nation's universities "patent trolls" ?
Do they deserve any royalties for their patented inventions from corporate america ?
If universities are not trolls, then the next unpleasant question is this: why small "garage" inventors should be treated any differently from universities ?
After all garage inventors use their own money to fund their inventive activities, while universities use mostly government grants - aka taxpayer's money
Interesting questions indeed...

I hope there are still some honest folks left in US Congress to give us straight answers

Posted by: angry dude at June 4, 2008 9:18 AM

Angry:

Depends on what you mean by "trolls." If a troll is someone who does not practice its own patent in the marketplace, then yes. If a troll is a company that just acquires patents for the purpose of bringing infringement lawsuits then, no [and a "garage inventor" would't be, either, nor would NTP who actually developed a "backberry type" product at one time.

However, in my mind, for reasonable royalty purposes, they should all be considered the same -- the royalty should be low because, in the hypothetical negotiation, these plaintiffs have an incentive to license, thus driving the resonable royalty down.

God knows what basis the jury used to come up with .8% though.

Posted by: Richard at June 4, 2008 1:06 PM

Don't think that the judgment is immune on appeal just because Federal Circuit Judge Rader was the trial judge. On at least one other occassion when he sat by designation at a district court to hear a patent case, he was reversed by his colleagues at the Federal Circuit. Loral Fairchild Corp. v. Matsushita Elec., 266 F.3d 1358 (Fed. Cir. 2001). No wonder the outcome of patent litigation is hard to predict!

Posted by: Matt Phillips at June 4, 2008 3:32 PM