April 11, 2016
Weil secured a major appellate victory for Adobe Systems on April 8, 2016, when the Federal Circuit affirmed a California federal jury’s verdict invalidating as obvious two digital-rights management patents asserted by plaintiff Digital Reg of Texas LLP. This ruling also confirms that Adobe will be reimbursed for attorneys’ fees due to Digital Reg’s litigation misconduct.
Digital Reg initially asserted seven patents against Adobe in its 2011 suit in the Eastern District of Texas. Adobe successfully moved to transfer the case to California. Although Digital Reg had garnered millions in royalties from software companies including Microsoft, Symantec and Intuit, Adobe elected to instead prove that the Digital Reg patents were invalid. Weil obtained a decisive victory for Adobe on September 8, 2014, when a California federal jury found that the two remaining patents were invalid because the technology was obvious. Subsequently, the court found that Digital Reg had engaged in litigation misconduct and ordered it to reimburse Adobe for its attorneys’ fees. Digital Reg appealed the jury’s obviousness verdict and also claimed that it should have been able to inform the jury that RPX had licensed its patent for $8.5 million, suggesting the patent was valid. Ultimately, however, the Federal Circuit upheld the lower court’s ruling in Adobe’s favor.