Monday, November 14, 2011

Parties' "Vastly Divergent Views on Damages" Warrant Court-Appointed Damages Expert

The court appointed an independent damages expert. "In this patent and copyright infringement action, an independent damages expert was appointed pursuant to FRE 706 in accordance with the relevant case law, and this memorandum opinion explains why one was needed. . . . [Plaintiff] intends to try 26 claims from six patents and several copyright-infringement theories to the jury. . . . Predictably, the parties and their retained economists have advanced extremely divergent views on the question of damages. . . . [Plaintiff's] economic expert opined that the fair market value of a hypothetical license for the alleged infringement would have been 'at least $1.4 billion' and 'could be as much as $6.1 billion'. In response, [defendant] argued for zero or in the alternative stated that the total value of a real-life licensing offer it rejected -- 'at most, a figure around $100 million' -- should serve as a damages ceiling. The gap between these contentions was enormous. In light of the parties’ extremely divergent views on damages and the unusual complexity of the damages aspect of this case, an independent economic expert was needed to aid the jury."

Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc., 3-10-cv-03561 (CAND November 9, 2011, Order) (Alsup, J.)

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