When Ted Stevenson started to question prospective jurors in a patent-infringement suit, he wanted those who are cell-phone savvy.

"We were looking for people who had a familiarity with texting and sending pictures," says Stevenson, a principal in Dallas’ McKool Smith who conducted voir dire and gave the opening and closing statements at the trial.

Partly as a result of his move to seat text-savvy jurors, Stevenson’s client, Dallas-based Summit 6 LLC, won a $15 million verdict. The April 5 win in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas came after a six-day trial and three hours of deliberations.

For Stevenson, the challenges of the jury trial arose from the need not only to explain how technology and software worked but also to address a wide range of defenses put forth by lawyers for Samsung Electronics Co. and its subsidiary.

According to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s Feb. 6 pre-trial memorandum opinion and order, which denied the Samsung defendants’ motion for summary judgment, Summit 6 alleged in an amended complaint that "services, smartphones, and/or tablets sold by Samsung infringe one or more claims" of its patent.

In response, Samsung and its subsidiary filed a motion for summary judgment of non-infringement on Oct. 22, 2012, wrote O’Connor. In that motion, the Samsung defendants laid out some of their long list of defenses, which Stevenson said made this case a difficult one to win.

Specifically, they asserted that their "accused products lack" what the judge referred to as "pre-processing" steps. Such steps modify digital content in preparation for sending; Summit 6 had argued that its patent covered such steps, but the Samsung defendants argued that such steps weren’t a part of their technology’s processes, O’Connor wrote.

According to O’Connor, the Samsung defendants argued in their motion that "its accused products do not perform the express claim limitation of ‘pre-processing . . . in preparation for publication’ either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents," and that the plaintiff had provided "no evidence that the accused products perform all of the asserted claims in combination," O’Connor wrote.

Mark Fowler, a partner in the Palo Alto office of DLA who represents Samsung and its subsidiary and took the lead at trial, did not return a call seeking comment.

In its verdict, the jury found that the Samsung defendants had infringed on all claims of Summit 6′s patent, that Summit 6′s patent was valid and that the plaintiff’s damages equaled $15 million. That’s at about a rate of 28 cents per phone device, Stevenson says.

To persuade a jury, Stevenson says he had "to strip away jargon and unnecessary information" about the software technology that allowed for transmission of photographs between cell phones.

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