Richards Layton & Finger
 

Judge Robinson Grants and Denies Post-Trial Motions

July 11, 2017

In SRI International, Inc. v. Cisco Systems, Inc., C.A. No. 13-1534-SLR (D. Del. May 25, 2017), Judge Robinson denied defendant Cisco Systems Inc.’s (“Cisco”) post-trial motions for judgment as a matter of law, new trial, remittitur, and to supplement the record, and granted plaintiff SRI International Inc.’s (“SRI”) post-trial motions for attorneys’ fees, enhanced damages, compulsory license, and prejudgment interest. The post-trial motions followed a $23,660,000 damages award in favor of SRI.

In support of its motion, Cisco argued that the record lacked substantial evidence of patent infringement, inducement, and contributory infringement. Judge Robinson disagreed, and held that there was substantial evidence to support the jury’s verdict. Additionally, Judge Robinson determined that Cisco was not entitled to a new trial because the jury’s verdict was not against the clear weight of the evidence, the jury was not prejudiced by statements made by SRI, and Cisco waived its argument regarding jury instructions. Judge Robinson also found that Cisco’s “litigation strategies” created a “substantial amount of work” for both SRI and the Court that was “needlessly repetitive or irrelevant or frivolous.” In making this observation, Judge Robinson also stated that “Cisco pursued litigation about as aggressively as the court has seen in its judicial experience.” As a result, the Court awarded SRI its attorneys’ fees and costs. Finally, the Court awarded enhanced damages, doubling the damages amount, a 3.5% compulsory license, and prejudgment interest to SRI.

Key Points: This case demonstrates the general inclination to uphold jury awards unless they are against the substantial weight of the evidence. Further, although Judge Robinson noted that awards of attorneys’ fees were “rare” under 35 U.S.C. § 285, this particular case warranted such an award according to the Court due to Cisco’s aggressive litigation tactics.