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Three patent infringement awards of $1 billion or more topped The National Law Journal affiliate VerdictSearch’s Top 100 Verdicts of 2012. Intellectual property verdicts represented the largest category in number and dollar value last year. The category has contributed one verdict higher than $1 billion in each of the three prior years. But this year’s list was notable in that three verdicts reached the $1 billion mark or higher, and all of them came out of high-stakes trials.The billion-dollar awards dominated this year’s total — a reflection of how pervasive technology has become in the nation’s economy, said Van Beckwith, a Dallas senior partner at Baker Botts, which had two successful patent infringement verdicts on the list last year. "Much of that technology is technology we all use every day," he said. "Many of these products are wildly popular. If you have infringement, and it goes against you with a jury, the numbers can be huge."

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