Cochlear Ltd. (ASX:COH) has agreed to pay $75 million in attorneys’ fees on top of the $268 million in damages it was ordered to pay two competitors in June in a long-running patent fight.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on March 16 upheld a U.S. District Court decision that awarded the $268 million to the Alfred Mann Foundation and Advanced Bionics, the company to which the foundation licensed its implants, for infringing two patents. This week’s settlement is contingent upon Cochlear’s appeal of the damages award to the U.S. Supreme Court, which the Australia-based hearing implant company said it plans to file by Sept. 15, 2020.
The Mann Foundation filed its patent lawsuit against Cochlear in 2007. In January 2014, a jury in the U.S. District Court for Central California found that Cochlear infringed both patents and awarded $131.2 million in damages. Because the jury also found that the infringement was willful, Cochlear could have been on the hook for treble damages if Judge Fernando Olguin agreed.
However, in April 2015, Olguin vacated the damages award, ordered a news damages proceeding and invalidated 3 of 4 claims in the 2 patents, ruling that they failed to disclose key elements. But, in November 2016, a federal appeals court overturned Cochlear’s victory, sending the case back to district court for reconsideration in light of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.