Category: Damages

Practical Lessons from the Oracle vs. SAP Damages Case

In early September 2011, a trial court ordered a new trial involving a jury verdict in which Oracle obtained a $1.3 billion verdict from SAP. By all accounts, Oracle’s verdict is (or actually, was) the largest ever awarded for copyright infringement. The Court summarized copyright damages law as follows: The Copyright Act allows recovery of …

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Government Slaps Banks with Lawsuit over Toxic Mortgages

The U.S. Government sued 17 financial firms today, including some of the U.S.’ largest banks, for selling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac billions of dollars of toxic mortgage back securities.  The suits was filed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which overseas both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Residential mortgage-backed securities were risky investments that turned …

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Mattel Ordered to Pay Rival $309M over Bratz Dolls

The ongoing dispute between Mattel Inc. (the toy giant best known for its line of Barbie dolls) and MGA Entertainment over rights to the Bratz doll line has resulted in a $308 million decision in favor of MGA.  The Bratz dolls have pouty lips, hip hop-style clothing and oversized feet, and are aimed at girls ages 9 to 11.  The …

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$62 Million Slot Win? Not So Fast…

On March 26, 2011, an Austrian national named Behar Merlaku got the thrill of a lifetime.  According to Austrian state broadcaster ORF, Mr. Merlaku was playing the slots at a Bregenz, Austria casino when the machine showed a payout of almost $43 million euros (approximately $62 million dollars).  Unfortunately for Mr. Merlaku, his excitement was …

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Daubert & Kumho Expert Challenges Increase, Moving Away From Their Original Purposes

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) issued a study of what has occurred with financial (usually damages) experts since the 1999 Supreme Court decision in Kumho Tire Co. vs. Carmichael clarified that the Daubert criteria for challenges to expert witnesses extended to non-scientific experts. The reliability of underlying data is the most frequent reason why testimony is excluded. This …

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Daubert & Kumho Expert Challenges Increase, Moving Away From Their Original Purposes

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) issued a study of what has occurred with financial (usually damages) experts since the 1999 Supreme Court decision in Kumho Tire Co. vs. Carmichael clarified that the Daubert criteria for challenges to expert witnesses extended to non-scientific experts. The reliability of underlying data is the most frequent reason why testimony is excluded. This …

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Disgorgement Returned As A Monetary Remedy In Delaware Cases

Although the case at issue involves insider trading, the limitations involving disgorgement as a monetary remedy could be applied to many other circumstances. The Delaware Supreme Court took little time in reversing a lower court decision that could have had widespread effects. Thus, Delaware law on this point returns to a classic election of remedies …

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House passes patent changes without altering damages in litigation

On June 23, 2011, the House of Representatives approved the renamed Leahy–Smith America Invents Act (H.R. 1249) by a bipartisan vote of 304-117. In March, the Senate passed S. 23, “The America Invents Act,” with larger bipartisan approval. Although there are differences between the House and Senate versions, I suspect that these differences will be …

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How Many Clowns Can You Fit In A Clown Car?

I am sure everyone has seen this before – a lot of clowns coming out of a really small car.  It is the oldest and most requested clown gag ever.  However, there is no trick to the clown-car gag.  Contrary to most people’s speculation, there are no trap doors in stadium floors, and the cars …

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Perhaps $2 Billion Owed Under Music Contracts

In monetary terms, the biggest decision made by the Supreme Court in the current session is a case that they decided NOT to take. On March 21, 2011, the Supreme Court denied certiorari of a Ninth Circuit ruling made on September 3, 2010 in re: F.B.T. Productions vs. Aftermath Records. Absent a settlement, the case …

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