TQ Delta Won more than $11 Million Against CommScope over Patent Infringement
The US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in a patent litigation has ordered the modem maker CommScope Holding Company to pay TQ Delta an $11.1 million lump sum for the infringement of a series of patents related to DSL (digital subscriber line) technologies.
TQ Delta, an Austin-based patent licensing company, was seeking a reasonable royalty of $89 million in the case.
The Court ordered CommScope to pay an $11,125,000 one-time lump sum for past and future sales, for infringing six of the seven patents-in-suit.
In August 2021, the patent monetization company sued CommScope alleging the large North Carolina-based network infrastructure provider had cribbed DSL technology linked to 12 patents, seven of which it took to trial.
TQ Delta accused CommScope, a network infrastructure provider, for refusing to agree to a license on fair and reasonable terms for the use of DSL Technology in the infringing products.
According to the lawsuit, CommScope makes, uses, sells, offers for sale, and/or imports Customer Premise Equipment (“CPE”) products, including without limitation gateways, modems, and service managers, that operate in accordance with one or more of the DSL standards.
TQ in its lawsuit claimed, “these patents originate from groundbreaking innovations in the DSL field, including innovations that the International Telecommunication Union (“ITU”) adopted in various DSL-related standards.”
“CommScope infringes TQ Delta’s patents. CommScope provides DSL equipment, and TQ Delta has attempted to license its patents to CommScope on a worldwide, nondiscriminatory basis and on reasonable terms and conditions. CommScope has refused to obtain such a license or cease its infringement. It has continued to willfully infringe upon TQ Delta’s patents, taking substantial benefits from TQ Delta’s inventions and harming TQ Delta. This case is to redress that harm,” it further added.
Per Contra, CommScope argued that TQ Delta had refused to negotiate a contract that offered a rate under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
“Ultimately, they filed a lawsuit because we didn’t agree to the (proposed rate for each unit sold). That is not FRAND,” said attorney Deron Dacus, of The Dacus Firm PC in Tyler, representing the defendant.
The Counsel in his closing arguments contended, “they cannot charge us more than other people in the industry. Because damages in this case are constrained by the FRAND obligation, you are going to be asked if TQ Delta grants licenses on a fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory term. We’ll also ask what money will compensate us for a breach.”
The Counsel insisted that these claims were in absolute breach of the FRAND obligation.
However, the jury observed that the defendant could not prove its claim that TQ Delta breached its contractual duty to grant licenses regarding its standard essential patents to CommScope on FRAND terms.
Since, the jury found that the infringement was willful, presiding U.S. District Chief Judge Rodney Gilstrap increased the amount by as much as three times the amount set by the jurors.