“Samsung Loses Bid To Sink $5.9M Data-Transfer IP Verdict,” Law36009/03/2019 | Law360
In a 54-page opinion filed Friday, U.S. District Judge Robert W. Schroeder III denied Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd's motions to toss the Nov. 5, 2018, jury verdict that it infringed Papst Licensing GmbH & Co. KG's patented product, rejecting Samsung's arguments that its accused devices don't send a signal identifying as a customary storage device, can't misidentify themselves to a host and are not simulating as a virtual file system to the host — the three things Papst would have to prove in order to show that Samsung's products infringed the patent.
Samsung had argued that its tablets and smartphones identify themselves to a host device as a USB mass storage class, which wasn't available at the time of Papst's invention of its data transfer product, according to the order.
But Judge Schroeder said there is substantial evidence to support the jury's finding that USB mass storage devices fall within the broader category of mass storage devices, as opposed to a new class of devices that were not customary at the time of invention.
The judge also rejected Samsung's argument that its devices can't misidentify themselves to a host, saying that substantial evidence supports the jury's finding that the accused Samsung interface device sends a signal to the host device that it is a hard drive, even though it isn't.
Samsung argued its devices are not simulating as a virtual file system to the host, but the judge rejected this argument as well, finding that substantial evidence supports the jury's finding that the accused devices "present to the host device a file system that emulates the file system of the storage device customary in the host device, even though the emulated file system does not actually exist on the interface device."
In its motions filed late last year, Samsung also argued that its accused devices did not indirectly infringe Papst's patent, saying Papst didn't provide enough evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude Samsung had the intent to induce or contribute to another's infringement of the claims, that Samsung's customers directly infringe the claims, that Samsung's products have no substantial noninfringing uses and that Samsung provides a component that is a material part of the invention.
Judge Schroeder didn't buy Samsung's arguments, however, finding that Samsung has acknowledged the record contains some evidence that the company knew about Papst's patent and rejected the electronics company's argument that it had a good-faith belief it wasn't infringing the patent. The judge found that there is sufficient evidence the jury could conclude Samsung had knowledge of the patent.
The judge also rejected Samsung's arguments that the jury didn't have enough evidence to find that Samsung's products have no substantial noninfringing uses and that Samsung provides a component that is a material part of the invention.
Judge Schroeder then denied Samsung's motion to toss the $5.9 million damages the jury awarded to Papst and declined to order a new trial.
The patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent No. 6,895,449.
The case is Papst Licensing Gmbh & Co. KG v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. et al., case number 6:18-cv-00388, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.
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DiNovo Price LLP is an Austin-based law firm that handles intellectual property and antitrust litigation nationwide. DiNovo Price represents inventors, public corporations, privately-held businesses, and consumers, both individually and in class actions.