Tessera’s ITC Victory Upheld By Federal Circuit

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December 2010

On December 21, 2010, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the International Trade Commission's (ITC) determination that seven companies had infringed patents held by Irell's long-time client Tessera, Inc.

The ITC proceeding involved a multi-week trial against semiconductor industry heavyweights including Motorola, Qualcomm, Freescale, Spansion, and STMicroelectronics, following which the ITC issued a final determination in Tessera’s favor.  The ITC found Tessera’s asserted patents valid and infringed by each respondent, and entered orders barring the importation of infringing products into the United States.  The announcement of that ruling led the company’s stock price to increase by 30 percent in a single day, and led Motorola to enter into a license agreement with Tessera.  Following multiple unsuccessful attempts by the respondents to stay the ITC’s orders pending appeal, oral argument before the Federal Circuit was held in June 2010.

Benjamin Hattenbach, who argued the case before the Federal Circuit on behalf of Tessera, characterized the resulting 48-page decision as "remarkably detailed and thorough, rejecting dozens of asserted defenses and affirming Tessera's victory in the International Trade Commission on every issue."  He further observed that "the patents addressed on appeal, both of which were found valid and infringed, continue to be asserted against the ITC respondents in multiple district court actions.  Damages against some of the respondents in those actions have been accruing for many years, and the Federal Circuit's decision will obviously carry considerable weight as those proceedings resume."