Susman Godfrey's Joseph S. Grinstein didn't just win a $38 million final judgment in a patent-infringement case, plus $2.23 million in attorney fees, when he squared off against lawyers from McKool Smith, another intellectual-property powerhouse firm. He also aroused the curiosity of his 7-year-old son.
Grinstein, who represented the plaintiff in PACT XPP Technologies AG v. Xilinx, Inc., et al. won the final judgment on Sept. 4 in in the Eastern District of Texas.
Munich, Germany-based company PACT XPP Technologies AG, alleged in a 2007 complaint that San Jose, Calif.-based Xilinx, Inc. and its distributor willfully violated patents used for programmable logic devices.
In 2008 answers, both defendants denied the allegations, asserted the affirmative defense that the plaintiffs had "unclean hands," and, in counterclaims filed at the same time, sought declaratory judgments of noninfringement and invalidity of the patents.
After a one-week trial and three hours of deliberation, a jury on May 18, 2012, issued a verdict that found defendants had infringed willfully on five valid patents and awarded the plaintiff $15 million in damages.
On Aug. 30, U.S. Magistrate Roy S. Payne granted the plaintiff's motion for enhanced damages.
"This is not simply a case where the jury found willful infringement. Throughout the trial, the Court was impressed with the strength of the evidence that Xilinx carried out a knowing and calculated plan to acquire PACT's patented technology without compensation," Payne wrote in his ruling.
Then on Sept. 4, Payne issued the final judgment with the attorney fees added for a total win of roughly $40 million, which Grinstein expects defendants to appeal.
Sam Baxter, a partner in the Marshall office of McKool Smith, who served as lead counsel for the defense, did not return a call seeking comment.
So why was Grinstein's 7-year-old son so interested in his dad's case? Grinstein says he wanted to show the jury that the disputed technology was not deployed on a permanent basis but could be disassembled. So, before the jury went into deliberations, Grinstein says he built a LEGO construction, then put it on the ground and smashed it apart. Prior to the closing, he practiced the move at home, much to the interest of his son, who wanted assurances that his dad was not pursuing the manufacturer of LEGO building blocks with his litigation.