Cases and Deals

Blank Rome Secures Favorable Outcome for Corel Corporation in Microsoft Patent Infringement Suit

After a three-day jury trial and post-trial motions, a Blank Rome IP team, on behalf of Firm client Corel Corporation, secured a favorable outcome in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Microsoft Corporation. 

Microsoft sued Corel for infringement of nine patents. Midway through the lawsuit, the Blank Rome team made a tactical decision to concede liability after it concluded that the client’s costs to defend itself against Microsoft’s liability allegations far outweighed, as the court stated, “the small amount of money that Corel estimated (and then trial confirmed) was at issue in this case.” Ultimately, at trial, Microsoft asserted six user interface patents (including four design patents) in an effort to recover over a million dollars in damages. The bulk of the requested damages hinged on Microsoft proving that it gave Corel notice of its patents prior to the lawsuit. 

On February 13, the jury found that while the infringement was willful (the only issue Microsoft prevailed on at trial), Microsoft failed to give Corel notice of its patents prior to the filing of the suit. Based on this finding of no pre-suit notice, the jury rejected Microsoft’s request for more than a million dollars in damages and awarded Microsoft just $278,000. Post-trial, the Blank Rome team successfully reduced that award to $99,000 when the court agreed there was insufficient evidence to support the jury’s $278,000 award. 

The Blank Rome team also defeated Microsoft’s request for attorneys’ fees and costs, a request that dwarfed the jury’s damages award, when the court denied Microsoft’s request. Further, while Microsoft requested $75,000 in enhanced damages, the court agreed with the Blank Rome team’s arguments and only awarded Microsoft a small portion of its request. 

For more information on this case, please read Microsoft's Win Reduced, Atty Fees Denied in Corel IP Spat (Law360; May 11, 2018).