Telcordia Tech. v. Cisco Systems, 2009-1175, -1184 (Fed. Cir. July 6, 2010).
The patentee sued for infringement of three patents relating to transmission of data in telecommunications networks. The district court granted summary judgment of non-infringement of one patent and, after a jury trial, entered judgment of infringement of the remaining two patents. The verdict did not specifically identify whether the damages were for pre-judgment infringement or both pre-judgment and post-judgment infringement. The district court determined that the jury’s award of damages was for past infringement only. The district court also denied the patentee’s motion for an injunction. Consequently, the district court directed the parties to negotiate a license for future claims of infringement. The alleged infringer appealed.
The Federal Circuit affirmed. The court held that the district court did not err in finding that the jury’s award of damages only covered the pre-judgment infringement. In addition, the district court did not err in ordering the parties to agree on a running royalty going forward. “District courts have broad discretion to interpret an ambiguous verdict form, because district courts witness and participate directly in the jury trial process.”
Further, awarding an ongoing royalty may be appropriate in cases where an injunction is not appropriate. Because the record supported the district court’s finding that the patentee had not been compensated for post-judgment infringement, the district court did not abuse its discretion in ordering the parties to negotiate a reasonable royalty.