LawFuel.co.nz – The wireless tech company InterDigital will probably never know how the International Trade Commission would have ruled in its patent infringement case against the oft-sued Samsung. Late Monday, the day before the ITC was to issue a determination on InterDigital’s claims, the company announced a licensing deal with Samsung that settles the litigation. The two companies didn’t disclose the terms of the deal, but The Wall Street Journal quoted an analyst who estimated its value for InterDigital to be $400-500 million over the next five years.
And believe it or not, Samsung considers that a very good outcome. “From Samsung’s perspective, they’re quite happy with the arrangement,” said Samsung counsel Matthew Powers of Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Powers told the Litigation Daily that the July 2008 evidentiary hearings on InterDigital’s claims “went extremely well for Samsung.” (We checked: Neutral observers agreed with that assessment.)
So with the ITC determination scheduled to be released November 25, Samsung had some leverage in negotiations with InterDigital–especially because InterDigital has a similar case against Nokia pending at the ITC. With Monday’s settlement, InterDigital avoids the possibility of an adverse ruling that could affect the Nokia litigation.
InterDigital spokesman Jack Indekeu told us the company “feels very comfortable with our decision.” In InterDigital’s press release, CEO William Merritt said the settlement “reflects well on the strength of our patent portfolio and our ability to design flexible deal structures.” (For an in-depth look at InterDigital’s patent strategy–which Merritt designed when he was the company’s GC–check out this story from IP Law & Business.)
InterDigital’s lead counsel on both the Samsung and Nokia cases is Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr; and Volpe and Koenig were also involved in the Samsung litigation, along with in-house lawyers Larry Shay and Andy Isztwan.
Samsung’s counsel, in addition to Powers, included Weil lawyers Steven Cherensky, Anne Cappella, Sonal Mehta, and David Southard. According to Powers, Monday’s settlement, if it is executed as expected in January, will resolve all of Samsung’s litigation with InterDigital.
In InterDigital’s ITC case against Nokia, which is scheduled for an evidentiary trial in the spring of 2009, Nokia is represented by Alston & Bird. Quinn Emanuel told us it also “represents Nokia” but declined to specify its role in the ITC litigation.