Erise’s Patent Defense Victory for Sony Affirmed by Federal Circuit


Erise’s victory for technology giant Sony against Infernal Technology in the notoriously difficult Eastern District of Texas, one of six consecutive patent defense wins by the firm, was upheld last week by the Federal Circuit.

Trial strategies that don’t take into account appeal aren’t worth much more than a fleeting feeling of victory, which is quickly snatched away by the Federal Circuit. This is why Erise repeatedly puts together trial strategies with two goals in mind—the jury and the Federal Circuit. This decision by the Federal Circuit shows the value of this approach.

In the trial, Erise shareholders Eric Buresh, Mark Lang and Michelle Marriott defended Sony against Infernal Technology, which accused some of Sony’s best-selling games of all time, including Spider-Man and God of War, of infringing on computer graphics patents and demanded more than $100 million in damages. It took only two hours for the jury to return with a complete defense verdict of noninfringement, and, in a rare move, the jury also found the plaintiff’s patents were “well-understood, routine, and conventional,” the first step in finding a patent is invalid under section 101.

Prior to Erise’s trial win, Infernal had survived seven challenges to its patents at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board and it had sued Microsoft and Electronic Arts for infringement with both defendants resolving those suits with settlements.

Buresh and Erise of counsel Abran Kean represented Sony in the Federal Circuit hearing, which was covered by Law360.