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Ericsson Inc. v. TCL Commun. Tech. Holdings, Ltd.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division

May 10, 2018, Decided; May 10, 2018, Filed

Case No. 2:15-cv-00011-RSP

Opinion

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

After a four-day trial, the jury unanimously found that TCL willfully infringed claims 1 and 5 of United States Patent No. 7,149,510 by selling phones and devices equipped [*4]  with the Google Android operating system, and the jury awarded $75 million as a lump sum royalty.1 The court previously ordered a new trial on damages after finding Ericsson's damages theory unreliable, see ECF No. 456, but the court now reconsiders that order, reinstates the jury's verdict in full, and resolves all other remaining disputes.

DISCUSSION

] TCL's motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial raise procedural issues not unique to patent law and are therefore evaluated under regional circuit law. Promega Corp. v. Life Techs. Corp., 875 F.3d 651, 659 (Fed. Cir. 2017). The Fifth Circuit is "especially deferential" to a jury verdict. Olibas v. Barclay, 838 F.3d 442, 448 (5th Cir. 2016) (quoting Evans v. Ford Motor Co., 484 F.3d 329, 334 (5th Cir. 2007)) (internal quotation marks omitted). A party is only entitled to judgment as a matter of law on an issue where no reasonable jury would have had a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find otherwise. Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(a); Bear Ranch, L.L.C. v. Heartbrand Beef, Inc., 885 F.3d 794, 801 (5th Cir. 2018). The evidence must be reviewed "in the light most favorable to the non-movant." Id. (quoting Omnitech Int'l, Inc. v. Clorox Co., 11 F.3d 1316, 1323 (5th Cir. 1994)). The Fifth Circuit will reverse the denial of a motion for judgment as a matter of law "only if the jury's factual findings are not supported by substantial evidence or if the legal conclusions implied from the jury's verdict cannot in law be supported by those findings." MM Steel, L.P. v. JSW Steel (USA) Inc., 806 F.3d 835, 843 (5th Cir. 2015) (citation omitted).

] A decision [*5]  to grant a new trial must also overcome significant deference to the jury's verdict. "A trial court should not grant a new trial on evidentiary grounds unless the verdict is against the great weight of the evidence." Seibert v. Jackson Cty., Mississippi, 851 F.3d 430, 439 (5th Cir. 2017) (quoting Whitehead v. Food Max of Miss., Inc., 163 F.3d 265, 269 (5th Cir. 1998)). This requires the movant to show "an absolute absence of evidence to support the jury's verdict." Id. (quoting Whitehead, 163 F.3d at 269).

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78857 *; 2018 WL 2149736

ERICSSON INC., TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON, Plaintiffs, v. TCL COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY HOLDINGS, LTD., TCT MOBILE LIMITED, TCT MOBILE (US) INC., Defendants.

Subsequent History: Vacated by Ericsson Inc. v. Tcl Commun. Tech. Holdings, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 11702 (Fed. Cir., Apr. 14, 2020)

Prior History: Ericsson Inc. v. TCL Commun. Tech. Holdings, Ltd., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47409 (E.D. Tex., Mar. 7, 2018)

CORE TERMS

infringement, patent, damages, products, royalty, interception, willfulness, prejudgment interest, module, enhancement, unaccused, afternoon, egregious, software, lump sum, enhanced damage, culpable, invalid, operating system, new trial, factors, sever, cases, features, requests, alleged infringement, unreliable, consumer, segments, flaw

Civil Procedure, Trials, Judgment as Matter of Law, Appeals, Standards of Review, Judgments, Relief From Judgments, Motions for New Trials, Remedies, Damages, Evidence, Admissibility, Expert Witnesses, Daubert Standard, Examination, Cross-Examinations, Scope, Jury Trials, Jury Instructions, Patent Law, Damages, Infringer's Profits, Increased Damages, Province of Court & Jury, Pleading & Practice, Responses, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Collateral Assessments, Attorney Fees, Prejudgment Interest, Collateral Assessments, Business & Corporate Compliance, Infringement Actions, Patent Law, Infringement Actions