Houston partners Wasif Qureshi and Leisa Talbert Peschel recently shared some insight about Jackson Walker’s successful representation of Roku, Inc. in a $228 million patent trial in the Western District of Texas – Waco Division.
Setting the Stage
In an article by Law360, Wasif and Leisa discussed the significance of selecting a “fairly technical jury” that could understand complex arguments about patented technology.
Cognizant of the $2.18 billion Waco jury award to a patent plaintiff a few weeks prior to Roku starting trial, Wasif said, “That was something at the front of our minds, as to whether that decision was reflective of how Waco juries might view patent cases and the value of property rights. But we got a very good jury consultant and we studied a lot of the demographics of Waco and were really prepared in jury selection.”
Leisa noted that most jurors on the panel were familiar with Roku and its products, which helped the team present arguments that were more technical than usual.
As the attorney who delivered Roku’s opening statement, Leisa said it was important to start by laying out the issues and arguments and concisely drawing distinctions between the patented interactive TV technologies and Roku’s streaming TV services.
“We knew that those markets were somewhat competitive, and we knew we had a significant amount of evidence to show the streaming market really won out,” she told Law360. “A key focus was to show those differences because in a lot of ways what they were trying to do on the other side is take this patent about interactive TV and . . . it was like a square peg in a round hole.”
“We knew that those markets were somewhat competitive, and we knew we had a significant amount of evidence to show the streaming market really won out.”
Plaintiff’s $228 Million Ask
In an article by Texas Lawyer, Wasif said his team started trial expecting to defend against a $10 million claim based on a certain damages model. However, during the trial, ESW first increased its damages number to $62 million and then raised that to $228 million, the amount ESW ultimately asked the jury to award as total damages for infringement of the two asserted patents.
Faced with the nearly quarter-billion-dollar verdict, Wasif told Law360 that he addressed the figure head-on during closing arguments.
“Most defendants wouldn’t put out a big number and repeat it, but I wanted to basically show that this $228 million is really speculative,” he said. “I directly tackled it. It wasn’t something I was going to shy away from.”
“It’s hard to tell your client that a $10 million case has turned into a quarter-billion-dollar case,” Wasif said. “But it worked out.”
“It’s hard to tell your client that a $10 million case has turned into a quarter-billion-dollar case. But it worked out.”
ESW’s counsel told Law360 that ESW plans to seek a new trial.
For more information about the suit, visit the following articles:
- Texas Lawyer: “Jackson Walker Saves Roku From $10M—No, Make That $228M—Patent Hit” (subscription required)
- Law360: “How Jackson Walker Beat $228M IP Claim Against Roku” (subscription required)
Wasif Qureshi practices intellectual property law, with a particular focus on patent litigation. Wasif delivers winning results for his clients, drawing from his engineering background and extensive experience across all phases of litigation. He counsels a diverse range of clients, from startups to Fortune 100 companies. In his nearly 20 years of experience, Wasif has appeared in over 200 district court and International Trade Commission patent infringement suits. He has also successfully argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Wasif’s clients count on him to craft creative and efficient legal strategies that keep business interests in focus.
Leisa Talbert Peschel is a patent litigator focused on complex technologies in the biotech, chemical, oilfield services, and computer industries. Leisa’s most recent wins include a complete defense verdict in a patent jury trial and denial of certiorari by the Supreme Court in a case she argued at the Federal Circuit that resulted in complete dismissal of the case against her client. In addition to patent litigation, Leisa maintains an active transactional practice counseling clients on obtaining, enforcing, and licensing intellectual property. Leisa is the current Chair of the State Bar of Texas IP Law Section and Secretary of the Houston Intellectual Property Law Association. She also frequently writes and speaks about intellectual property law.