Top 10 IP Litigation Battles of 2011

An article on’s Corporate Counsel provides a great breakdown of the biggest Intellectual Property litigation wins of 2011. Not surprisingly, there is a predominance of patent litigation on the list. The article references a survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers that concludes patent holders brought 2,892 U.S. infringement lawsuits in 2010—an increase of more than 5 percent over the year before. From the list of the biggest Intellectual Property litigation wins, below are the patent based cases. For the list in its entirety, click here.

1. Jobs’s Job One . . .

The smartphone market moves fast, so a court order forcing a manufacturer to sit out a product cycle can be devastating. That’s part of the reason the International Trade Commission has become a red-hot forum for smartphone patent disputes. The trade body can’t award money damages, but it can impose costly “import bans” on foreign products sold in the United States. Smartphone manufacturers have brought a slew of ITC actions in hopes of securing such bans against rivals.

In November, Apple and its outside lawyers at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe scored a major defense win in one of the first smartphone disputes on the ITC’s docket. S3 Graphics, Inc., a Fremont, California–based graphic chipmaker, had filed an ITC action against Apple in May 2010, claiming Apple’s iPhone infringed four of its patents. In July an administrative judge ruled for S3 Graphics. But in November, a six-judge panel reversed, ruling that Apple did not infringe any of the asserted patents.

The loss for S3 Graphics was also a loss for Taiwan-based HTC Corporation, the leading maker of Android phones. It announced in July that it would acquire S3 Graphics for $300 million in a bid to bolster its ammunition in patent fights. HTC told The Wall Street Journal in November 2011 that it was considering canceling the acquisition in light of the ITC’s ruling. (more…)