A notorious patent troll filed suit against multiple subsidiaries of our Fortune 500 client, claiming that a distributed control system the subsidiaries engineered and marketed infringed five patents. Sales of the system accounted for $1.5 billion in annual revenue for the client. The sought-after settlements were not the nominal amounts that patent trolls frequently seek.
The Husch Blackwell team crafted an aggressive litigation strategy. Instead of settling with the troll, as had other large companies facing similar suits, we argued in District Court that the patents should be invalidated because they used conventional computer technology to claim an abstract idea without adding anything inventive. The strategy was challenging because the patents were lengthy, detailed and complicated, which gave the impression that the technology was innovative and not abstract. Many other co-defendants questioned our strategy; however, our arguments were ultimately persuasive, and the court invalidated all claims asserted against our client.