By winning a defense verdict in this federal jury trial, we protected Twitter Inc. from a patent infringement suit and a $40 million damages claim. Virginia-based VS Technologies had obtained a patent on creating “an interactive virtual community of famous people,” and sued Twitter over its virtual community technology. Twitter refused to settle – even after a jury in the same courthouse awarded over $100 million in an unrelated patent case -- and it hired Keker, Van Nest & Peters to handle its first trial. With an accelerated schedule of just over five months between the initial case management conference and the trial, we zeroed in on the key arguments and evidence, and on driving down the potential damages. We moved to strike the plaintiff’s damages report, which the Court denied, then moved in limine to exclude certain elements of the damages analysis, which the Court denied without prejudice. Despite the rulings, we made our point. Before the plaintiff’s damages expert testified, the Court allowed us to voir dire him, and then made decisions that effectively limited the potential damages to $8 million – just days after the plaintiff’s counsel told the local press that damages would exceed $40 million.
In addition to our focus on damages, our team crafted compelling arguments to explain invalidity and non-infringement to the jury, and seriously damaged the plaintiff’s credibility with a powerful opening statement and cross-examination.
After the six-day federal trial, the jury awarded us a sweeping victory on every element of the case. They found that every asserted claim of the patent was invalid on three separate grounds, and that Twitter didn’t infringe the patent.