Davis Polk represents various subsidiaries of Comcast Corp. in four patent infringement lawsuits against Sprint Communications Co. LP pending in federal courts across the country. On August 7, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware issued judgment as a matter of law in Comcast’s favor, overturning a $27.6 million damages verdict that Sprint had obtained in a jury trial earlier this year. Sprint had accused Comcast of infringing patents related to optical networking technology in a variety of regional networks, and the order gave Comcast a complete victory, finding non-infringement as to all accused networks on all asserted claims. In the alternative, the Court also granted Comcast’s motion for a new trial, holding that the jury verdict in Sprint’s favor had been the result of Sprint’s “present[ing] an incorrect infringement theory to the jury” so that “allowing the verdict to stand would result in a miscarriage of justice.”
This case in the District of Delaware was the second of various lawsuits between the parties to reach trial. Davis Polk previously won a jury verdict against Sprint in the same district, and further cases between the parties remain pending in the District of Kansas and the Eastern District of Philadelphia. Sprint initiated the dispute by asserting 12 patents against Comcast's telephony products and services in the District of Kansas, including a number of patents that it had previously asserted successfully against a number of voice-over-IP telephony providers. Comcast then asserted a number of its own patents in the District of Delaware and the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Sprint asserted additional patent claims in those jurisdictions as well.
The Davis Polk trial team included partners Matthew B. Lehr and Anthony I. Fenwick, counsel David Lisson, associates Micah G. Block, and Alyse Katz. Others who participated in pre- and post-trial proceedings include associates Gareth DeWalt, Vesna Cuk, Brooke Pyo, Edward Fu, Julien du Vergier and Andrew Yaphe and former associates Shiwoong Kim, Austin Tarango, Alex H. Hu and Serge Voronov. Members of the Davis Polk team are based in the Northern California and New York offices.
Comcast was also represented at trial by co-counsel from Winston & Strawn and Delaware counsel Connolly & Gallagher. Sprint was represented by Shook Hardy & Bacon.