Federal Circuit Topples $2.2B VLSI Verdict, Revives Intel’s License Defense

December 10, 2023

The Federal Circuit has overturned the $2.2B infringement verdict that VLSI Technology LLC won against Intel in March 2021. In a December 4 precedential opinion, the appeals court affirmed a Western District of Texas jury’s finding of literal infringement as to one patent but reversed as to the other, which the jury found infringed under the doctrine of equivalents (DOE)—the court determining instead that VLSI had failed to provide sufficient evidence for that $675M slice of the verdict. As for the remaining $1.5B awarded for the first patent, the court held that VLSI had made a crucial error in its damages case by factoring in the value of noninfringing technology, vacating and remanding for a new trial on that issue. The opinion was also notable for restoring Intel’s license defense based on the 2020 purchase of Finjan, Inc. by Fortress Investment Group LLC, to which VLSI is tied, the Federal Circuit holding that District Judge Alan D. Albright was wrong to reject that defense as futile.

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