ActiveVideo Networks, Inc. v. Verizon Communications, Inc.
Case #: 2011-1538, -1567; 2012-1129, -1201
Moore, Bryson, Dyk
Full Text Opinion: http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/11-1538.pdf
Patents: A JMOL for patent non-infringement must be supported with substantial evidence. Permanent injunctions on patent infringement cannot be upheld where losses are quantifiable based on lost license fees and damages are not irreparable harm.
Opinion (Moore): In an appeal by ActiveVideo Networks, Inc. (ActiveVideo) and Verizon Communications, Inc. (Verizon) regarding findings of mutual infringement by each party with respect to ActiveVideo’s #578, #678, #883, and #582 patents and Verizon’s #542 and #214 patents, all relating to interactive television, it was alleged by both parties that the district court erred in its ruling on several JMOLs. Verizon also asserted error in the permanent injunction invoked against their company. Both parties claimed error in denials and grants of the respective JMOLs asserted by each party with regard to non-infringement, invalidity, and damages. The only non-infringement JMOL error the Court found was the denial of Verizon’s non-infringement JMOL of ActiveVideo’s #582 patent, which was because the record lacked substantial evidence to support the denial. Concerning invalidity due to obviousness or anticipation, the Court ruled that neither Verizon nor ActiveVideo presented sufficient evidence or witness testimony at trial, and thus there was no error in granting the respective invalidity JMOLs. With respect to damages and the permanent injunction, the Court found that the district court clearly erred in finding irreparable harm, mainly because the losses to ActiveVideo are quantifiable on the basis of lost licensing fees. The infringement judgment against Verizon on ActiveVideo’s #582 patent was REVERSED, as was the entry of permanent injunction. Additionally, a summary judgment for ActiveVideo not infringing on Verizon’s #748 patent was VACATED and REMANDED. All other judgements were AFFIRMED.