July 08, 2011

Faegre & Benson Scores Significant Victory for Seagate in the United Kingdom

Faegre & Benson secured an important defense victory for Seagate against Siemens in a patent infringement trial that was held last summer before a judge in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  On July 4, 2011, the court officially announced a complete defense verdict for Seagate. This is the second courtroom victory Faegre & Benson achieved for Seagate in the company's now five-year legal battle with Siemens over a patent relating to read-head technology for hard disc drives.

In the fall of 2008, the firm won a complete defense verdict for Seagate after a 6-week jury trial in California. In that trial, the jury found that the patent Siemens asserted against Seagate was invalid because of a prior invention by IBM and because the patent was obvious.  In the aftermath of that trial, Siemens filed a companion lawsuit against Seagate in Belfast, asserting a related UK patent against Seagate's manufacturing activities in Northern Ireland.  Following a month-long trial, the court ruled that Seagate's wafers manufactured in Northern Ireland do not infringe Siemens' patent and preliminarily found that Siemens UK patent was obvious. "The plaintiff has sought to blind the court with science rather than to narrow and crystallize the issues," the judge declared.

"Our prior success in the U.S. case and our extensive experience with the technology helped us prepare the UK legal team for the trial in Belfast," said Calvin Litsey, who led the Faegre & Benson team. "With the combined talents of our U.S. lawyers and outstanding lawyers from London and Belfast, we were able to mount strong defenses that the court in Belfast found convincing.  Needless to say, Seagate is thrilled with the outcome of the case."

Other members of the team included David Gross, Kevin Wagner, Chris Burrell, Tim Grimsrud, Jeya Paul, Ted Budd, and Chad Drown.
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