MARSHALL , Tex. – A federal court jury in Marshall , Tex. , has issued a multi-million-dollar verdict against Redwood City, Calif.-based Seven Networks Inc. after finding that the company willfully infringed patents developed and owned by the mobile e-mail pioneer Visto Corp.
Attorneys from Dallas ’ McKool Smith represented Visto in the weeklong trial before Judge T. John Ward of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Marshall . McKool Smith principal Samuel F. Baxter served as lead counsel for Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Visto. In addition to Mr. Baxter, Visto also was represented by McKool Smith principal Theodore Stevenson III and attorneys Ronald Katz and Robert D. Becker from Palo Alto, Calif.-based Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. The jury verdict was issued Apr. 28, 2006.
At issue in the case were several patents developed and maintained by Visto for more than 10 years. The contested patents allow mobile phone users to easily download e-mail through their phones. The patented Visto technology is available through the world’s largest telephone service providers, including Cingular, Sprint Nextel, Vodafone Group, and many others.
“We are extremely pleased that these thoughtful jurors closely examined the facts and weighed all the evidence before agreeing that Visto is the true creator of this technology and that the company’s patents were wrongly infringed by Seven Networks,” says Mr. Baxter, Visto’s lead counsel. “When the U.S. patent office grants a patent, it is presumed to be valid. Under law, the rightful owners deserve compensation for the unauthorized use of their patents.”
In addition to finding that Seven Networks infringed Visto’s intellectual property, jurors also found that Seven Networks did so willfully. The jury upheld each of the five claims and the three separate Visto patents that were presented at trial. The $3.6 million award amounts to a 19.75% royalty rate applied to the Seven Networks’ products that infringed the Visto patents.
In addition to affirming Visto as the rightful patent owner, the jury’s verdict also marks the third consecutive patent victory for Mr. Baxter since the beginning of the year. In March, he successfully represented Minneapolis-based Medtronic Inc. in an arbitration proceeding against Johnson & Johnson over a Medtronic stent used in heart surgeries. In April, Mr. Baxter successfully represented Alviso, Calif.-based TiVo Inc. in the company’s lawsuit against Englewood, Colo.-based Echostar Communications Corp. over technology that allows a viewer to record one television program while watching another.
McKool Smith has more than 80 attorneys in Dallas, Austin and Marshall, Texas, handling commercial and intellectual property litigation for national and international clients. The firm is recognized as one of the premier litigation law firms in the United States, having earned significant courtroom victories for clients such as Electronic Data Systems, BearingPoint, Ericsson, Medtronic, Inc., and National Instruments.