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Jury Awards $122M in Advertising Patent Case Following Testimony of Quandary Peak Experts

Jury Awards 2M in Advertising Patent Case Following Testimony of Quandary Peak Experts

LOS ANGELES, June 17, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A week-long patent trial in Waco, Texas, concluded on Friday with a jury verdict against Amazon and an award of $122 million in damages. Two software experts affiliated with Quandary Peak Research, Dr. Eric Koskinen and Jason Frankovitz, testified during the trial. Koskinen and Frankovitz were retained on behalf of the plaintiff, an advertising technology company.

The case, AlmondNet, Inc. v. Amazon.com, Inc., et al., was presided over by Judge Alan D. Albright in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. As is common in patent trials, the jury was asked to consider whether the patents were valid and also whether Amazon infringed them by making, selling, or using the patented inventions.

The first patent at issue in the case, U.S. Patent No. 8,671,139, describes a system for directing electronic advertisements. The system facilitates the “selection of media properties on which to display an advertisement.” The other patent asserted by the plaintiff, AlmondNet, was U.S. Patent No. 7,822,639, which describes a method of securing revenue from “offsite targeted Internet advertising.” 

The patented methods include various steps for displaying ads to website visitors after they have visited some other site first. For example, claim 37 of the ‘139 patent includes automatically authorizing the second site to display an ad to a user who previously visited the first site. Claim 24 of the ‘639 patent involves both websites receiving some revenue by showing ads to users who visited both sites.

Koskinen was the first expert witness called in the trial. On the afternoon of the first day, Koskinen testified that the two AlmondNet patents were infringed by Amazon’s Sponsored Display and Amazon DSP technology. Koskinen described the Amazon systems to the jury, enabling them to understand how the complex systems implemented the patented technology. His explanations set the foundation for the trial’s proceedings throughout the week.

Frankovitz took the stand on Thursday to answer questions on the patents’ validity. Frankovitz rebutted the testimony of Amazon’s experts that the patents were not valid. During his testimony, Frankovitz employed a metaphor to help the jury understand how AlmondNet’s inventions work. Frankovitz said that, prior to AlmondNet’s inventions, advertising on websites was analogous to a series of castles, with each castle only able to reach an audience within its own walls. The inventions allowed each castle to send messages to people inside other castles, thereby increasing the effectiveness of the ads.

In closing arguments on Friday morning, AlmondNet’s attorney took the jury back through Koskinen’s testimony, saying “We brought Dr. Koskinen to explain Amazon’s infringing system. [Dr]. Koskinen was so thorough and careful in analyzing Amazon’s crazy complex system and describing it to you, that [Amazon’s] VP of technology, and [Amazon’s expert witness] ultimately admitted that Koskinen’s description of how Amazon’s system was accurate. Dead on.”

The jury’s verdict came back later on Friday. First, the jury found that AlmondNet proved, by a preponderance of the evidence, that both patents were infringed by Amazon. Second, the jury found that Amazon had not proven, by clear and convincing evidence, that the asserted claims of the two patents were invalid or that those claims involved only activities or technologies that were obvious at the time. Finally, the jury found that AlmondNet had proven that it was entitled to $121.95 million.

Eric Koskinen is an Endowed Associate Professor of Computer Science at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he teaches, advises PhD students, and conducts research on reliable software supported by grants from the federal government in excess of $6M.  He is an expert in computer systems, concurrency, programming languages, and formal methods.

Jason Frankovitz joined Quandary Peak in 2014 and has testified in numerous trials since then. His background in Internet marketing technology and knowledge of his own patented ad targeting system were useful assets during the case. While his considerable experience spans various areas, his work at Quandary Peak often draws heavily on his expertise in web applications, Internet technologies, open-source software, and best practices in software development. 

About Quandary Peak Research

Quandary Peak Research provides expert analysis of complex technology to companies, law firms, and investors. Clients leverage Quandary Peak’s expertise in computer and software technology for various types of civil litigation, including cases alleging patent infringement, copyright infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and breach of contract. Software experts at Quandary Peak perform source code analysis, technical due diligence, software quality audits, and forensic investigations. Quandary Peak experts also testify as expert witnesses at hearings and trials in U.S. District Court, state courts, the International Trade Commission (ITC), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and other venues.

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Jeremiah Deasey
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[email protected]

SOURCE Quandary Peak Research

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jury-awards-122m-in-advertising-patent-case-following-testimony-of-quandary-peak-experts-302174293.html
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