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Intel Corporation v. Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO)

In a prominent case held in the United States Court in the Eastern District of Texas, 14 different Defendants in three different proceedings were accused by Australian based Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (“CSIRO”) of infringing U.S. Patent No. 5,487,069 (the “‘069 patent”). According to IP Law360, the parties-in-suit included a who’s who of “technology giants.” The Defendants included 3-Com, Accton, Asus, Belkin, D-Link, Dell, Fujitsu, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Microsoft, Netgear, Nintendo, SMC Networks, and Toshiba.

CSIRO claimed its ‘069 patent, titled “Wireless LAN,” covered all products that complied with the IEEE 802.11a, 802.11g, or draft 802.11n standards, also known as Wi-Fi standards. According to CNET, this case had a “wide-ranging impact on wireless equipment makers and consumer electronics manufactures.”

Economic damages expert, Thomas Britven, was retained by counsel for seven of the 14 parties to determine the amount of compensatory damages sustained by CSIRO due to their alleged patent infringement. The defendants spanned the supply chain from chip makers to wireless modules and network interface cards, wireless routers, game consoles, and computers. Mr. Britven, Douglas Ellis, and Brandon Lloyd led a team that developed a unified approach for the various defendants that resulted in a volume-based reasonable royalty opinion amounting to approximately $0.15 per unit, on average, as opposed to the $4.00 or $5.00 per unit royalty sought by CSIRO’s two damages experts.

The damages team gathered and analyzed massive amounts of data, isolated the footprint of the patented technology, reviewed thousands of license agreements, successfully navigated and incorporated the complex issues surrounding reasonable and non-discriminatory (“RAND”) terms that applied to patents contributing to a standard, applied exhaustion principles, and considered prior valuations of the ‘069 patent, among other things.

The case ultimately settled.