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Closure: Kilopass v. Sidense

Closure: Kilopass v. Sidense
by Daniel Nenni on 03-19-2015 at 11:00 pm

The long running legal action between the top two NVM IP companies is now finished after close to five years of lawyering. By the way, I write about this stuff in hopes of limiting the future earning power of lawyers that prey on our R&D budgets. This one is significant because Kilopass was not successful in a patent infringement case and now has to pay for the associated legal expenses incurred by Sidense.

Justice is open to everyone in the same way as the Ritz Hotel. ~Judge Sturgess

As I mentioned before, in the U.S., parties in a lawsuit pay for their respective attorney fees which can be staggering. However, U.S. law allows the courts to shift the payment of the winner’s attorney fees to the losing party for “exceptional” reasons. Based on recent legislation “exceptional” now has a much less stringent definition as reflected in recent case law and Kilopass v. Sidense is one of those cases.

You can see the final ruling HERE. This is a must read for any IP company considering patent action against a competitor. The award is for attorneys’ fees in the amount of $5,315,315.01 and other expenses in the amount of $220,630.53. Mediation costs a fraction of that of course but you have to really put your ego in check for that to work. By the way, the court documented the associated legal fees and the hourly expense Sidense paid was between $275-$830 and deemed within reason. So that is what you can expect to pay for fancy San Francisco patent lawyering.

Both Sidense and Kilopass did what I hope is a final press release:

Judge Orders Kilopass to Pay Sidense $ 5.5 Million in Legal Fees and Costs for Baseless Patent Infringement Lawsuit
Ottawa, Canada – (March 16, 2015) – Sidense Corp., a leading developer of nonvolatile memory OTP IP cores, today announced that U.S. District Judge Susan Illston has ordered Kilopass Technology to pay Sidense $5.5 million for its “objectively baseless” patent infringement lawsuit initiated against Sidense in May of 2010. The fee recovery represents attorneys’ fees and associated costs.

Kilopass Focuses on Market and Roadmap Expansion After Sidense Patent Litigation
Kilopass Has Reserved the $5.5M Award, but Moving Beyond to New Business
SAN JOSE, CALIF. –– March 16, 2015 –– Kilopass Technology, Inc., a leading provider of semiconductor logic non-volatile memory (NVM) intellectual property (IP), acknowledges the recent ruling of the U.S. District Court awarding Sidense Corporation $5.5 million for patent litigation legal fees. Kilopass has set aside cash in the full amount of the award.

“We are disappointed in the ruling but, as customers and the market have the substance of the litigation behind them, so do we,” remarked Charlie Cheng, Kilopass’ CEO. “Operationally, we have been busy with 10nm-16nm nodes for OTP roadmap, low-power IoT challenges, and new memory technologies.”

My final thoughts in the form of a cartoon:

Absolutely.