This afternoon, a jury in Marshall, Texas, awarded the largest patent verdict in history: Abbott Laboratories must pay $1.67 billion to Centocor, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, because its Humira arthritis treatment infringes U.S. Patent No. 7,070,775. The patent was developed at New York University and licensed exclusively to Centocor, which makes a medicine called Remicade that competes with Humira. Via Bloomberg.
The jury deliberated for five hours before issuing the verdict, which specifies $1.17 billion for lost profits and $504 million as a reasonable royalty.
See the jury verdict form [PDF].
Centocor was represented by Woodcock Washburn; local counsel was Dallas firm Sayles Werbner. Abbott was represented by WilmerHale, as well as Houston-based Beck, Redden & Seacrest and Gillam & Smith of Marshall. The case was filed on 4/16/2007: Centocor, Inc. et al v. Abbott Laboratories, 07-cv-00139, E.D. Texas (Marshall).
The second-largest patent verdict was a $1.5 billion award that Alcatel-Lucent won against Microsoft, but that was later overturned. The third-largest patent award, and still the largest ever enforced, is a $910 million judgment for Polaroid in 1986; that lawsuit ultimately wiped out Kodak's instant camera products. (Some report this award as $925 million, which was the amount of the settlement in 1991 that finally ended the litigation.)
Photo: Federal Courthouse in Marshall, Texas. J. Mullin