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Intellectual Property Insights from Fishman Stewart PLLC
Newsletter – Volume 23, Issue 2

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2022 Recap – Largest Patent Damages Awards

By Art Hallman

$2 billion! No, that is not the latest lottery jackpot. It is the total amount of the five largest patent damages awards in 2022. And 2022 was a modest year in comparison to previous years! The five largest patent damages awards from 2021 totaled approximately $3.3 billion and the five largest patent damages awards from 2020 totaled approximately $4.4 billion. Below we take a brief look at the patented technology involved in each of the top five cases from 2022.

1. VLSI Technology LLC v. Intel Corp.: VLSI was awarded $948 million after a federal jury in Texas found that Intel infringed VLSI’s U.S. Patent No. 7,606,983 (“the ‘983 Patent”). The ‘983 Patent relates to microchip technology and, specifically, to improved computer processor performance via an improved transaction ordering policy in which individual occurrences of access requests can specify whether or not the associated transaction is to be performed in order. In lay terms, the technology improves computer performance by putting computer processor traffic “in the fast lane.” Less buffering means more binge watching!  

2. Complete Genomics v. Illumina: Complete Genomics (“CG”) was awarded $333.8 million after a federal jury in Delaware found that Illumina infringed CG’s U.S. Patent No. 9,222,132 (“the ‘132 Patent”) and U.S. Patent No. 10,662,473 (“the ‘473 Patent”).  The ‘132 Patent and the ‘473 Patent relate generally to DNA sequencing. These types of genetic sequencing technologies are used in research dedicated to treating a wide range of conditions and diseases, including autism, aging, and eating disorders. 

3. Ravgen Inc. v. Laboratory Corporation of America: Ravgen was awarded $272.5 million after a federal jury in Texas found that Labcorp infringed Ravgen’s U.S. Patent No. 7,332,277 (“the ‘277 Patent”). The ‘277 Patent is directed towards methods for detection of genetic conditions like Down syndrome and noninvasive methods of detecting such conditions in utero. Safe methods for early detection of genetic conditions allow parents and health care professionals to better monitor and treat the conditions, providing better quality of life for parents and their children.   

4. United Services Automobile Association v. PNC Bank: United Services Automobile Association (“USAA”) was awarded $218 million after a federal jury in Texas found that PNC infringed USAA’s U.S. Patent No. 8,699,779U.S. Patent No. 8,977,571U.S. Patent No. 10,482,432, and U.S. Patent No. 10,621,559 (“the USAA Patents”). The USAA Patents relate gener​​​​​​ally to mobile banking technology for remote check deposit. Who doesn’t want to skip the long line at the bank?!

5. Trustees of Columbia University v. NortonLifeLock: Columbia University was awarded $185 million after a federal jury in Virginia found that Norton infringed Columbia University’s U.S. Patent No. 8,074,115 (“the ‘115 Patent) and U.S. Patent No. 8,601,322 (the ‘322 Patent).  These patents relate generally to groundbreaking cybersecurity safeguards. More specifically, they are directed towards methods and systems for detecting anomalous program executions. Early detection is key—especially when it comes to malware! 

It seems the high stakes technologies of 2022 involved genetics, computing, and banking. We can’t wait to see what 2023 brings! Also, while 2022 may have been a down year for patent damages awards, 2022 saw a record number of published patent applications—417,922 patent applications published at the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2022. This is an encouraging sign that investment in innovation remains a priority.  

Wishing you a happy 2023!

Art Hallman is an associate attorney at Fishman Stewart and practices in the fields of patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law. Before attending law school, he worked as an engineer in the oil field service industry and the automotive industry. He holds an B.S. degree in electrical engineering and an MBA. 

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