Cases & Deals

DIRECTV wins full victory in Federal Circuit patent appeal

Client(s) DIRECTV Group, Inc., The

On January 8, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a grant of summary judgment in favor of Jones Day clients The DIRECTV Group, Inc. and related companies ("DIRECTV"), rejecting plaintiff Finisar Corporation's ("Finisar's") various claims of patent infringement. See Finisar Corp. v. DIRECTV Group, No. 2009-1410 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 8, 2010).

The Federal Circuit's decision is the most recent in this over-five-year-old case. The case was first tried in June 2006 and was the subject of an April 2008 decision by the Federal Circuit on the parties' cross-appeals. In its first decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court's summary judgment of invalidity of seven patent claims asserted by Finisar, and vacated a $100 million judgment in Finisar's favor on seven other asserted patent claims. The Federal Circuit also held that the primary one of those other patent claims was invalid as a matter of law, and that DIRECTV was entitled to a new trial on infringement and invalidity on the six remaining patent claims in the case. After Finisar subsequently agreed on remand that one of those claims was invalid in light of a decision in another case involving Finisar's patent, both parties filed motions for summary judgment on the validity of the five claims ultimately left in the case.

The district court ruled, in response to DIRECTV's motion for summary judgment, that the five remaining patent claims were invalid, and on multiple grounds. In its January 8, 2010 order, which was issued only two days after oral argument, the Federal Circuit rejected Finisar's arguments on appeal, and affirmed in full the district court's summary judgment of invalidity.

The cross-office, cross-practice Jones Day team representing DIRECTV in the appeal was led by partner Greg Castanias (who also led the 2008 appeal) and associate Jennifer Swize of the Firm's Washington Office, and partners Kevin McBride and Louis Touton of the Firm's Los Angeles Office.

Finisar Corp. v. DIRECTV Group, No. 1:05-CV-00264 (E.D. Tex. May 19, 2009), Appeal No. 2009-1410 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 8, 2010)