Finisar Corp. employs dozens of Ph.D.-level scientists to create technology for its high-speed data communication components and testing business, but one of the company’s most lucrative inventions may be a patent outside of its core business that generated a court victory worth $117.3 million last year.
In June 2006, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Finisar won a $78.9 million jury verdict in a patent infringement case against broadcast satellite company The DirecTV Group Inc. of El Segundo, Calif. Although appeals are in the works, fines are racking up, including a judge’s $25 million enhancement for willful infringement and $13.4 million for prejudgment interest, post-judgment interest and a compulsory license. Finisar Corp. v. DirecTV Group Inc., No. 05-00264 (E.D. Texas).