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Sometimes a verdict allows both sides to claim victory. This March, Maryland-based telecom equipment makers CIENA Corporation and Corvis Corporation were able to do just that when a jury brought in a split decision in their patent battle. CIENA had brought suit against Corvis in Delaware federal court in 2000, accusing the company of infringing on four patents by copying technology that dramatically increases the call volume capacity of fiber optic cables. Damages could reach $100 million in this suit. (The technology was developed while Corvis founder David Huber was still at CIENA, which he also founded. Huber left to start Corvis in 1997.) The jury found that Corvis had infringed on one patent, but not on two others; the jury was hung on the fourth patent. To handle the suit more efficiently, federal district court judge Joseph Farnan, Jr., split the case into three trials, with three juries � the first addressing infringement (in which plaintiff CIENA accused Corvis of stealing the patents); the second, the patents’ validity (in which Corvis became the plaintiff, claiming the patents weren’t valid anyway); and the third, the damages to be awarded. Following the infringement trial, the validity jury found the infringed patent and one of the uninfringed patents valid. (Corvis decided not to question all four patents’ validity, for reasons it would not divulge.) For Plaintiff CIENA Corporation (Linthicum, Maryland) In-house: Senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary Russell Stevenson, Jr., and assistant general counsel David Soltz. Fish & Richardson (Boston): Joseph Colaianni, Jr., Ruffin Cordell, Lauren Degnan, William Marsden, Jr., Michael McKeon,and associates Charles Haisch, Brian Racilla, and Mark Wadrzyk. (Marsden is in Wilmington; the rest are in Washington, D.C.) Fish & Richardson was retained by Michael McCarthy, Stevenson’s predecessor. This is Cordell’s third suit for CIENA. For Defendant Corvis Corporation (Columbia, Maryland) In-house: Chief IP counsel Michael Antone and senior IP counsel Darren Wolf. Pillsbury Winthrop (San Francisco): Robert Gutkin, Blair Jacobs, George Sirilla, and associates Guillermo Baeza, Anthony Dreux, and Christina Patrick. (All are in McLean, Virginia.) Pillsbury Winthrop has worked with Corvis on IP matters in the past. Blank Rome (Philadelphia): Neal Belgam and associate Dale Dub�. (Both are in Wilmington.) Blank Rome serves as Pillsbury Winthrop’s Delaware counsel on most of its patent suits. OUTLOOK At press time a three-day retrial on the patent that the first jury hung on was scheduled for April 23. Scheduling for the third trial on damages awaits the retrial verdict. At press time CIENA was planning to appeal the ruling on the two patents deemed uninfringed. � Heather Smith

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