March 14, 2013
After an 11 day trial, a federal jury returned a verdict in favor of NPR client Syntrix Biosystems Inc., finding that Illumina Inc. infringed, and induced others to infringe, a Syntrix patent dealing with DNA analysis. The jury awarded damages in the amount proposed by NPR — $95,795,507, plus a 6% royalty.
The story told at trial is one all too common in technology business circles – a larger company appropriating the inventions of individuals or smaller companies, hoping they will not fight back. Syntrix provided Illumina with a patent application it filed for the ultimately infringed technology during the course of evaluating a potential business relationship, all under the protection of a non-disclosure agreement. After not licensing Syntrix’s technology, Illumina filed its own patent application that closely resembled Syntrix’s previsouly filed patent. Illumina even sought to invalidate Syntrix’s previously-filed patent at the United States Patent & Trademark Office. A licensing arrangement could never be reached between Syntrix and Illumina. Syntrix decided litigation was the best course, and hired NPR.
NPR was very careful to not let the jury get bogged down in the technology itself, and kept the jury focused on the client’s compelling story. The NPR team’s skilled pre-trial and trial advocacy efforts ensured that justice was served for its client.
Along with co-counsel, Syntrix was represented by NPR partner Bradley Beckworth and associate Winn Cutler.