Two historic verdicts, one copyright and one patent, were overturned this week.
- The recording industry's sole jury win in a music downloading case was overturned on appeal Wednesday. The problem was Jury Instruction No. 15, which told the jury the record companies don't have to prove any copyrighted files were actually transferred. Defendant Jammie Thomas was found liable and ordered to pay $222,000. But a federal judge in Duluth, Minnesota said that instruction was wrong, and Thomas will get a new trial. [Wired]
- Alcatel-Lucent's $1.5 billion jury verdict against Microsoft, for infringing patents on mp3 technology, was overturned by the Federal Circuit. (That award had already been overturned by a district court judge; and the appeals court upheld that judge's decision.) If the Alcatel-Lucent award had been reinstated, it would have been the largest patent infringement verdict ever. [AP] [MarketWatch]
The biggest patent verdict instead remains Polaroid's lawsuit against Kodak's line of instant cameras; the suit wiped out Kodak's instant camera business by the late 1980's and awarded $910 million to Polaroid in 1991.