Netlist files Patent Infringement Suit Against Samsung in Marshall’s Federal Court
Netlist Inc., a leading innovator in high performance memory module technologies has filed a suit against Samsung over patents related to computer memory technology in Marshall’s Federal Court. The matter is being heard by the U.S. District Chief Judge Rodney Gilstrap.
In the case, Netlist is accused the global technology giant for willfully infringing five patents related to improving the performance and memory capacity of memory subsystems. Netlist sought a royalty of $404.2 million.
Samsung vehemently refuted to the infringement allegations and further contended that Netlist’s patents were invalid.
Judge Gilstrap noted that years ago prior to the trial the parties entered a Joint Development and License Agreement (JDLA), which allowed Samsung to license Netlist’s patents-in-suit. After the JDLA had been in effect for some time, a dispute developed between the parties. That dispute was heard before a California Federal Court, which determined Samsung no longer had a license to Netlist’s products under the JDLA as the JDLA had expired in 2020.
He further noted that the Marshall federal jury was now tasked with deciding on whether Samsung is infringing the patents-in-suit, whether the patents were invalid; and if infringement is found, if it is willful.
Netlist’s attorney, Jason Sheasby, of Irell & Manella LLP-Los Angeles, in his opening statement said, “This case is incredibly important to the future of Netlist. The design of the patent is not the issue. What Samsung did was took Netlist’s patents and infringed them, the infringement in this case is Samsung’s behavior after the agreement (expired). What are the consequences of violating the law?”
Representing Samsung, Attorney Ruffin Cordell of Fish & Richardson PC, of Washington, D.C., argued that the case is not about selling things; it’s about the patents.
Cordell said jurors have been asked to understand information about some very complicated, highly technical, sophisticated devices in the world. He said such memory devices are cutting edge technology that has been built over decades and used globally.
“This case is about one company that files patents in the patent office. There are rules,” he said, arguing that the plaintiff did not abide by the rules.
He contended that, Netlist had more than a decade of filing continuations with the patent office, but the problem is the continuations strayed from the original invention.
Cordell said in this case, the patents-in-suit relate to a Flash-DRAM hybrid memory module.
Highlighting the reputation of Samsung, Cordell noted that the Korean-based company has one of the best semiconductor factories right here in Texas, located in Plano; and boasts 120,000 USA patents.
According to Cordell his client does not infringe and does not agree the patents are valid. He said if infringement is found then only $8 million should be a reasonable amount.
The Samsung attorney urged the jury to closely examine the actual technology in dispute.