Last week, IADC member Kendall Harrison and a team of attorneys from Godfrey & Kahn and Mayer Brown obtained a $14.5 million jury award on behalf of their client, DSM, in a patent infringement case pending in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Kendall delivered the opening statement and closing argument on the liability phase of trial.
DSM is a Dutch company that was recently ranked #2 on Fortune’s “Change the World” List. Its patent involves a genetically modified yeast used to make bioethanol (ethanol that is blended with gasoline and used for fuel). By using the patented yeast instead of conventional yeast, a producer can make more bioethanol from the same amount of corn. The defendant argued that it did not infringe and that the patent was invalid. The jury rejected both defenses.
The final award will be larger than the jury award because the damages experts’ opinions relied upon sales data only through September 2017 and the defendant’s products are still on the market. In addition, DSM will receive royalties on all future sales made by the defendant.