By David R. Sugden of Call Jensen & Ferrell
Mr. Sugden is a shareholder at the Newport Beach law firm of Call, Jensen & Ferrell. He practices complex commercial litigation with an emphasis on trial of high-stakes intellectual property matters. Two of his recent victories include a jury verdict for $47.4 million in a software piracy case in San Diego Federal Court Nortel Networks, Ltd. v. Platinum Networks, 04-CV-1968 (S.D. Cal. 2006)) and a $10 million judgment in a trademark and fraudulent inducement case in Oklahoma City Federal Court (Nortel Networks, Ltd. v. SMC Electronics LLC et al., Case No. 06-CV-00787-RJC (W.D. Okl. 2007).
In today’s world of music “sharing,” “open source” software, and YouTube, intellectual property owners face increasing challenges when they endeavor to persuade a jury that a defendant’s misappropriation or infringement warrants a large damages award:
Why does this large company that is already earning millions deserve or need more money just because a smaller competitor has a copy of its software or customer list?
Why should this company merely selling products outside of a manufacturer’s normal distribution channel be liable for trademark infringement?
Is this another example of a large company using the “justice” system to bully its smaller competition?
These are t...