Verizon subscribers safe after patent close call, will cost them in the long run

In ACTIVEVIDEO NETWORKS, INC. v. VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS, INC., case available here Verizon mostly lost its appeal after a jury awarded the plaintiff substantial damages related to infringement of patents plaintiff held on video on demand services. The trial court also had awarded a permanent injunction against Verizon, which had it been upheld, Verizon would have had to remove VOD services for its subscribers. However, the appeal court held that a permanent injunction was not justified, primarily because money damages would be sufficient (the plaintiff had previously negotiated with another provider and licensed its patents).

Even though the injunction was overturned, Verizon will end up paying a significant per subscriber amount for the license, on the order of 20 times the royalty rate negotiated with a prior licensee.

This case contains a very good analysis of many issues that are presented in patent trials ( which themselves are rare) including marking, hypothetical negotiation, and the requirements of expert testimony. Indeed, Verizon lost much of the case because most of its expert testimony was excluded because it was conclusory.

For more information, contact Mike Oliver.