Doug Kubehl, Baker Botts, partner, Dallas. ()
A patent infringement battle between two rival companies selling Voice over the Internet protocol (VOIP) technology has led to an $8.2 million jury verdict for Baker Botts’ client GENBAND U.S.
Doug Kubehl, a partner in Baker Botts’ Dallas office, led a team that won the verdict Jan. 15 following a five-day trial and three and a half hours of jury deliberations.
Kubehl also represents GENBAND in two other pending patent infringement lawsuits pitting the company against the same defendant, Metaswitch Networks.
“This is the first case that was filed. Some of the jury findings in this case undercut the defenses in the other two cases,” Kubehl said.
With its verdict, the jury found that Metaswitch had infringed on seven patents owned by GENBAND and that all those patents were valid.
At trial, GENBAND argued that it was only obligated to provide Metaswitch licenses to use the technology if a contract had required GENBAND to do so and that no such contract existed between the two rival companies.
In a motion for judgment as a matter of law, Metaswitch Networks argued that GENBAND had failed to produce evidence of infringement.
Charles Verhoeven, a partner in San Francisco’s Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, who represents Metaswitch, did not return a call for comment.
GENBAND used its patented technology to produce and market VOIP products itself. It had not marked those products with patent identification numbers. Therefore, Kubehl said, statutory damages in the lawsuit were limited to unpaid license royalties for only one year or the period of the time since GENBAND filed its lawsuit and the jury verdict.
Given that restriction, his client had asked the jury for roughly $9 million in damages, Kubehl said, a figure notably far off from the panel’s verdict.
With such a satisfactory win under his belt, Kubehl’s recommendation for lawyers who might try patent infringement claims about complex technology before a jury in the future: “Keep it focused and understandable.”