Judge Andrews Grants Motion to Enforce Settlement After Finding of Invalidity

March 7, 2017

Publication| Intellectual Property

In CallWave Communication LLC v. Verizon Services Corp., C.A. No. 12-1704-RGA (D. Del. Feb. 13, 2017), Judge Andrews granted plaintiff CallWave Communication LLC’s (“Callwave”) motion to enforce a settlement agreement with Telecommunication Systems Inc. (“TCS”). The settlement arose from patent litigation between Callwave and defendants Verizon Services Corp. (“Verizon”) and Google Inc. (“Google”). TCS was the supplier of the accused product to Verizon, had agreed to indemnify Verizon and advised the Court that TCS and Callwave had reached an agreement in principle to resolve the claims against Verizon. After the Court was notified of Verizon’s settlement, the Court granted co-defendant Google’s motion for summary judgment, finding the patent-in-suit invalid for lack of patentable subject matter. Following the Court’s decisions, TCS refused to continue negotiations, arguing that the parties failed to agree on essential terms.

Judge Andrews found the communications between Callwave and TCS, the parties’ joint stipulation to the Court, and comments written on the drafts of the agreement “objective indicators” that a contract had been made. Accordingly, the Court granted Callwave’s motion to enforce the settlement agreement.

Key Points:  The Court will enforce a settlement agreement that contains all essential terms even if the patent-in-suit underlying the settlement is later found invalid. “Regret is no basis in law to undo a contract made.”

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