Friday, August 16, 2013

Excessive Jury Verdict Requires Plaintiff to Choose Between 50% Remittitur or New Damages Trial

The court granted in part defendant's motion for remittitur or a new damages trial following the jury's verdict of $30.2 million and required plaintiff to choose between a reduced award of $15.1 million or a new trial. "[A]lthough the entire market value rule does not apply on the facts of this case, the concerns that motivate the doctrine nonetheless speak to whether the Jury's damages award was appropriate. Thus, while there is no smaller patent-practicing unit than the [accused game system] as a whole, the [patent-in-suit's] technology was used only in two features . . . and thus was in some sense ancillary to the core functionality of the [accused product] as a gaming system. In addition, the evidence presented at trial showed that consumer reception for the patent-related features was mixed. Based on these factors and the fact that the [accused system] is not itself profitable, the Court finds that it surpasses reasonable belief that [defendant] would, in a hypothetical negotiation, agree to a 'reasonable royalty' payment anywhere near as large as that awarded by the jury."

Tomita Technologies USA, LLC, et. al. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd., et. al., 1-11-cv-04256 (NYSD August 14, 2013, Order) (Rakoff, J.).

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