On Friday, a California jury concluded nearly two days of deliberations before determining that three of MotionPoint’s translation automation patents were invalid and that the company infringed on a patent granted to TransPerfect, the other party in this intellectual property dispute. MotionPoint withdrew its fourth claim before the start of the nearly two-week long trial. The jury also awarded US$1 million to TransPerfect, a small return on the millions spent on attorney fees.
The trial had its share of courtroom drama. In the closing hours, the attorneys for MotionPoint brought in Jeffrey Chase, a professor of computer science at Duke University, as an expert witness to rebut TransPerfect’s claims about the invalidity of MotionPoint’s patents. According to an article posted at “The American Lawyer,” TransPerfect’s counsel conducted what the court reporter characterized as a “bruising cross-exam” of the witness, in the course of which Professor Chase acknowledged that MotionPoint did not invent the technology in question.
We will review the jury’s report once it becomes available. Meanwhile, Common Sense Advisory expects to see statements from both parties in the case later this week. We wouldn’t be surprised to see an appeal of the verdict from MotionPoint, even though the jury followed the lead of the U.S. Patent Office which had previously invalidated the patents.
It will also be interesting to learn what TransPerfect intends to do now that the jury found that MotionPoint infringed on its patent. MotionPoint's attorneys stated in 2009 that the company “intended to enforce its intellectual property rights aggressively.” Conversely, TransPerfect’s counsel reportedly made frequent statements during the trial that its client was fighting the case on principle. Having just spent a few years and millions of dollars defending itself, we suspect that TransPerfect will be anxious to get out of the courtroom and back to business -- and let other companies using the disputed technologies do the same.