Cases and Deals

Blank Rome Secures Second Significant Patent Infringement Verdict for NCS Multistage in WDTX

A Blank Rome team won a jury verdict for NCS Multistage, Inc. and NCS Multistage, LLC, which designs and sells downhole tools used in constructing oil and gas wells, following a five-day jury trial in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. The verdict was returned on August 26, 2022.

In the verdict, the Waco, TX jury found the Norwegian company TCO AS—whose U.S. subsidiary makes and sells casing flotation tools—liable for induced infringement and contributory infringement of NCS’s ’445 Patent. The jury awarded NCS nearly two million dollars in damages and, because the patent was issued in 2019, TCO AS will owe NCS royalty payments for all future sales of infringing tools, which will result in millions in license revenue for NCS.

The ’445 Patent covers NCS’s Airlock® product, a casing flotation tool that dramatically changed the industry’s approach to casing oil and gas wells. When NCS’s competitors began introducing competing products, all of which infringe the ’445 Patent, NCS initiated a patent enforcement strategy led by Blank Rome partners Domingo LLagostera and Russell Wong. Five NCS competitors quickly agreed to license the ’445 Patent, but the largest competitors—TCO AS and Nine Energy—vigorously litigated. This verdict marks the second time in 2022 that a Waco jury has returned a verdict for NCS. In January 2022, after a trial led by the same Blank Rome team, a Waco jury returned a verdict for NCS, finding that Nine’s Breakthrough tool infringes the ’445 Patent. Notably, this trial was held before U.S. District Judge Alan Albright, who presides over approximately 25 percent of U.S. patent suits. Judge Albright’s docket is closely followed by patent lawyers and technology companies across the country.

For more information on this verdict, please read Driller Lands 2nd WDTX Verdict, Netting $2M This Time (Law360, August 29, 2022) and NCS Multistage Wins Patent Infringement Case Against TCO (Yahoo! Finance, August 29, 2022).

The Blank Rome trial team consisted of Andy FletcherDomingo LLagostera, Megan Wood, and Brenda Kruger. Russell Wong and Blank Rome professionals M’Liss Hindman and Sylvia Martinez also assisted the litigation.