In 2016 British-based Vectura sued GlaxoSmithKline for patent infringement regarding GSK’s Ellipta inhalers. Vectura asserted its U.S. Patent No. 8,303,991 claiming a method for making particles in a pharmaceutical composition for inhalation. After three years of litigation, the jury found that GSK willfully infringed the ’991 patent and awarded $89.7 million in damages based on a 3% reasonable royalty rate. The trial court denied GSK’s motion to overturn the jury verdict or order a new trial. The court found that substantial evidence supported the jury’s determination of willful infringement. The court also rejected GSK’s arguments that Vectura’s damages expert failed to properly apportion the value of the patented feature or account for differences between comparable license agreements and the hypothetical negotiation. The court held that statements by Vectura’s counsel during trial regarding GSK’s “billions” in total sales revenue were not so prejudicial as to warrant a new trial.
The trial court also awarded Vectura supplemental damages for sales from January 1, 2019 to May 16, 2019, in an amount to be determined based on actual sales data. The court also granted Vectura’s request for pre-judgment interest of approximately $6.7 million and awarded Vectura an ongoing royalty rate of 3%. But the Court denied Vectura’s request for enhanced damages and attorneys’ fees.
The case is Vectura Limited v. GlaxoSmithKline LLC and Glaxo Group Limited, Case No. 16-cv-638-RGA (D. Del).