In the wake of Qualcomm’s loss in front of the full International Trade Commission (ITCInternational Trade Commission) yesterday, Qualcomm released a statement that doesn’t match up with the facts.
Here’s what Qualcomm had to say:
The implication is that the jury found the patent valid, which would be inconsistent with the ITC’s finding—but that’s not what happened. The jury made no finding on invalidity. The jury verdict is public—and the jury didn’t answer whether the ‘490 patent is invalid. They weren’t asked to, as the jury form shows:
Apple decided not to put an invalidity defense forward in district court on the ‘490 patent, as Qualcomm notes. This means the jury verdict contains nothing regarding validity. There’s nothing in the verdict to be inconsistent with.
In fact, Qualcomm itself has abandoned claims in one venue, only to win on the same argument in a later case in a different venue—the exact situation it claims is “inconsistent” here.
Qualcomm started its ITCInternational Trade Commission case out by asserting six patents—including U.S. Patent No. 8,838,949. Qualcomm dropped the ‘949 patent from their ITCInternational Trade Commission case, but continued to assert the ‘949 patent in district court. Under Qualcomm’s logic, that means that the ‘949 infringement verdict in the district court case is inconsistent with the ITCInternational Trade Commission case, where Qualcomm chose not to present an infringement case to the ITCInternational Trade Commission.
As long as plaintiffs get multiple bites at the apple across multiple venues, this type of split decision can occur. One possible way to reduce the likelihood of this occurring again would be to ensure that, where a federal district court has jurisdiction over a party, the ITCInternational Trade Commission does not.