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Twitter Off The Hook In $40M Virtual Community IP Suit


A Virginia federal jury on Monday found Twitter Inc. was not liable for patent infringement claims brought by VS Technologies LLC, which had sought $40 million in damages over its virtual community technology, according to a statement from Twitter's attorneys.

The suit was brought in January over Twitter's "Browse Interests" feature, which VS Technologies claimed was an infringement of its 2002 patent for “an interactive virtual community of famous people,” according to court documents. Twitter came out victorious in the six-day trial, despite setbacks earlier in the case when a federal judge refused to grant the social networking and microblogging giant summary judgment.

"This case makes absolutely clear that Twitter will not knuckle under to patent infringement claims that have no merit," lead counsel Elliot Peters of Keker & Van Nest LLP said in a statement.

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Elliot Peters, along with partner David J. Silbert represented Twitter for Keker & Van Nest. Robert A. Angle, a Virginia-based attorney with Troutman Sanders LLP, also assisted for Twitter during the trial.

For three decades Elliot Peters has litigated, tried and advised clients in some of the nation's most high-profile, high-stakes complex commercial and white collar criminal cases. Mr. Peters has tried more than 50 cases on behalf of CEOs, leading law firms, and major corporations. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has also been named Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer and The Recorder, the Litigator of the Week by The American Lawyer, and one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California by the Daily Journal.

David Silbert has won or favorably resolved cases in state and federal courts across the country. Mr. Silbert has successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in patent cases involving cable television, semiconductors, medical devices, recombinant DNA, and numerous other technologies. He has defended several national law firms and their partners against claims of malpractice, and represented individuals in government and internal investigations.