The District of Nebraska, in Prism Techs, LLC v. Sprint Spectrum, Case No. 8:12CV123 (Judge Lyle Strom) (December 18, 2015), granted Plaintiff Prism’s motion for pre- and post-judgment interest and denied its motion for an accounting and ongoing royalty.
For pre-judgment interest, the parties disputed what rate to apply to the awarded pre-judgment interest. Plaintiff advocated for the prime rate, while Defendant advocated for the Treasury bond rate. The Court awarded pre-judgment interest at the prime rate:
“Regarding the rate at which prejudgment interest is calculated, the district court has the discretion to determine whether to use the prime rate, the prime rate plus a percentage, the U.S. Treasury rate, state statutory rate, corporate bond rate, or whatever rate the court deems appropriate under the circumstances.” Century Wrecker Corp. v. E.R. Buske Mfg. Co., Inc., 913 F. Supp. 1256, 1280 (N.D. Iowa 1996). The Court finds that the prime rate at 3.25% would best compensates Prism for Sprint’s infringement. As a result, the Court will grant Prism’s motion for prejudgment interest to be calculated at the prime rate of 3.25% and compounded quarterly, totaling $2,001,923.
With regard to the ongoing royalty, Plaintiff argued it was entitled to an accounting for Defendant’s infringement from 2014 through the entry of judgment. Defendant opposed the motion arguing that “the jury instructions were clear to provide Prism compensation for past, present, and ongoing infringement.” (p. 4).
In denying the motion, the Court said:
The Court finds that the jury instructions were clear in providing Prism with complete relief from infringement. The jury was instructed that, “[T]he damages you award must be adequate to compensate Prism for the infringement . . . . Your damages award, if you reach this issue, should put Prism in approximately the same financial position that it would have been in had the infringement not occurred.” (Filing No. 466 at 25). In addition, question 2 on the verdict form indicated that the jury would be awarding damages in the amount of a reasonable royalty. (See Filing No. 467). The Court finds that an accounting and ongoing royalties would be inappropriate because the $30 million jury verdict represents the jury’s award of a reasonable royalty to compensate Prism for Sprint’s past, present, and ongoing infringement.