Intellect Wireless, and its former lawyers, have been ordered to pay HTC more than $4 million in legal costs and interest. The order came from a Chicago judge and follows a court case against HTC originally raised last decade but which was dismissed in 2012. The original case concerned Intellect Wireless suing HTC (amongst other telecom businesses including Samsung and T-Mobile US) for a core mobile phone patent. Essentially, Intellect Wireless (and founder Daniel Henderson) had lied to the US Patent and Trademark Office by claiming that they had a working prototype of this core system, when in reality the business had a mock up. Intellect Wireless obtained a patent in 2007 based on false statements and used this to sue the telecom businesses. The case was originally dismissed in 2012 because of Intellect Wireless’ “inequitable conduct” on the matter. Intellect Wireless appealed, but lost in October 2013. HTC have subsequently asked that the attorneys be held jointly liable for their poor conduct and because they had “unreasonably and vexatiously multiplied the proceedings.” And now, almost two years later, the amount of compensation to be awarded to HTC has finally been calculated. The calculation process was slowed down due to an argument brought by Intellect Wireless, claiming that the amount should be $3.7 million, but the court sided with HTC and awarded a total of $4,090,030.50. At every stage of the process, Intellect Wireless has argued against HTC and the courts.
This is not the first time HTC have successfully defended a case against patent trolls – another notable example is that of Taiwanese company, Wi-Lan, which claimed HTC (and other smartphone manufacturers) had violated patents they held for a key mobile phone technology. In this case, HTC and its co-defendants took Wi-Lan to court and a jury ruled a verdict against the patent troll. There are even investment funds aiming to make a return for investors by suing businesses for their patent infringement. Whilst many businesses believe it important to keep valuable intellectual property safe and secure and available to anybody willing to pay the licence fee, companies do attempt to extract money through a false patent and arguing against the potential victim.