Intellectual Ventures’ Damages Claims, Professor Cotter’s Reaction
Reuters quotes our very own Professor Cotter regarding the novel damages argument being made by Symantec and Trend Micro against Intellectual Ventures (IV). According to the news service, IV seeks more than $300 million from the two companies for infringing a patent purchased for $750,000. Symantec and Trend Micro have told a Delaware Court that such a large licensing fees cannot be reasonable for a patent acquired for so little.
Thomas Cotter, a patent damages expert at the University of Minnesota Law School who is not involved in the case, said he is unaware of any court ruling along the lines being urged by Symantec and Trend Micro. For Intellectual Ventures, which says it has earned about $3 billion to date from licensing its thousands of patents, the stakes could hardly be higher.
“If the royalty is capped at the purchase price, there’s obviously no point in being a patent assertion entity,” Cotter said.
IV’s argument that the purchase price is irrelevant to damages is credible, Cotter said.
“They’re a type of intermediary or broker, providing a service,” Cotter said, “and the spread between the price they buy and the price they sell is their compensation for that service. Plus, there’s always some risk they won’t get anything.”
IV sued Symantec and Trend Micro but no trial date is set. Other details of the case can be found here.