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Federal Circuit Denies Two Bites at the AppleApril 12, 2006

In Glenayre Electronics, Inc. v. Phillip Jackson and PMJ Family Limited Partnership (‘Jackson’), Jackson appealled the order of the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois denying Jackson’s motion to set trial on the issue of indirect infringement of its patent by Glenayre. The Federal Circuit held that Jackson had been fully compensated for infringement of its patent by the manufacture and sale of Glenayre’s products. At issue before the district court was Jackson’s patent for producing control signals in response to receiving predetermined tone signals from remote telephones over a telephone line (‘the ‘900 patent’). Jackson alleged that Glenayre directly and indirectly infringed the ‘900 patent. A jury trial was conducted and Jackson was awarded $12 million based on a reasonable royalty calculation. Glenayre submitted a post-trial motion requesting that the district court remit the jury award. The district court granted the motion for remittitur and found the jury’s damages award to be ‘grossly excessive.’ The district court concluded that the jury’s award represented a royalty rate of 30%, a rate five times greater than the very highest rated disclosed in any license agreement offered into evidence. The court proposed a remittitur to $2.65 million based on a maximum reasonable royalty rate of 6% of sales plus a $250,000 lump-sum payment as an alternative to a new trial. Jackson accepted the district court’s decision to award him the remitted damages award plus prejudgment interest. The primary issue on appeal was the denial by the district court of Jackson’s motion to set trial on the stayed counterclaims of indirect infringement by Glenayre. Jackson presented two arguments to the Federal Circuit to obtain a second trial. The first was that the district court bifurcated the case into two separate trials

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