Cochlear Ltd. (ASX:COH) won a reprieve in its $131.2 million patent infringement loss to Advanced Bionics over hearing aid implant technology when a California federal court ordered a new damages trial and invalidated portions of patents’ claims.
The cochlear implant patents were licensed to Advanced Bionics by the Alfred E. Mann Foundation, named for 1 of the inventors of cochlear implant technology. The foundation sued Cochlear Ltd. in 2007, alleging infringement of a pair of patents covering the hearing implant technology.
After a jury trial in January 2014, the jurors found that Cochlear infringed both patents, ruling the infringement willful, putting on the hook for the $131.2 million damages award, which could have trebled if Judge Fernando Olguin of the U.S. District Court for Central California found the infringement willful.
But Olguin yesterday vacated the damages award and ordered a news damages proceeding, according to court documents.
The judge also invalidated 3 of 4 claims in the 2 patents, ruling that patent fails to disclose key elements of the claims.
"We strongly believe the facts and law do not support the judgment on infringement entered against Cochlear and as previously stated, Cochlear will now appeal this Judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals," president & CEO Chris Roberts said in prepared remarks.