In a June 28 final judgment in Fractus SA v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis of the Eastern District of Texas awarded a plaintiff $38 million in damages, including $15 million for willful patent infringement.

Max Tribble, a partner in Houston’s Susman Godfrey, represented the plaintiff, Spanish company Fractus SA, which previously had supplied parts to the defendants, Korean manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and five of its subsidiaries.

In it Dec. 8, 2009, amended complaint, Fractus alleged Samsung and the subsidiaries had willfully infringed nine of its patents related to cellphone antenna technology “literally and under the doctrine of equivalents.” The plaintiff sought declaratory relief, damages and attorney fees.

In a Feb. 28, 2011, answer and counterclaim, Samsung and its subsidiaries denied the allegations and alleged Fractus’ patents were invalid because the technology was obvious or previously anticipated and the patent application did not include proper written descriptions.

Baker Botts partners Neil Serota of New York City and Michael Barta of Washington, D.C., who represent the defendants, each did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

After a five-day trial and less than a half a day of deliberations, on May 23, 2011, the Tyler jury returned its verdict, deciding that Samsung had infringed on seven Fractus patents (the only ones presented to the jury) and had not proven any of those patents were invalid. The jury awarded Fractus $23 million in damages, according to Davis’ June 28 memorandum and opinion. In his final judgment, Davis added the $15 million in damages for willful conduct. [See the verdict form, the final judgment and the memorandum opinion and order.]

Tribble expects the defendants to appeal. He believes the judgment with interest calculated will equal nearly $41 million.

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