Cases and Deals

Blank Rome Secures Another Significant Victory for Dominion Resources, Wins Double Damages in Alstom Patent Trial

A Blank Rome team secured another significant victory in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for Dominion Resources, Inc., against Alstom Grid LLC, regarding Alstom Grid’s willful infringement of a Dominion energy-conservation patent.

On July 1, 2016, after a seven-day trial, a jury unanimously found in favor of Dominion and ordered Alstom to pay nearly $500K in royalties. (To learn more about this victory, please click here.) Following that verdict, Dominion moved for the court to enter a permanent injunction against Alstom Grid and to enhance Dominion’s damages award because of Alstom Grid’s conduct.

On October 3, after considering Dominion’s arguments, the court again found in Dominion’s favor and permanently enjoined Alstom Grid from making, using, selling, offering to sell, and importing any product that includes the adjudged infringing functionality. With respect to Duke Energy, Inc.—Alstom Grid’s customer that the jury found to be directly infringing Dominion’s patent—the court enjoined Alstom Grid from further providing Duke Energy with any programming, maintenance, or other support services connected to the infringing functionality. With respect to five additional customers, the court permanently enjoined Alstom Grid from providing them with the programming or other assistance needed to enable use of the infringing functionality.

Significantly, the court recognized that Dominion and Alstom compete in a two-company market, and thus, if Alstom is permitted to continue competing, Dominion is irreparably harmed and its patent rights are effectively nullified. The ruling secures for Dominion the patent monopoly to which it is entitled. Additionally, based on Alstom Grid’s conduct in response to Dominion’s pursuit to protect its patent rights, the court awarded Dominion’s request for enhanced damages, doubling the jury’s previous damages award.

Please click here to read Law360’s article regarding the court’s decision.