Would the original award have been upheld if the market conditions were more favourable?
Patent Infringement Judgment Against ION Geophysical for its Sales of Seismic Survey Devices Reduced to $26 Million from Original $124 Million Damages Award
On July 26, 2017, after eight years of litigation and multiple appeals, a Texas federal court ordered ION Geophysical Corporation (“ION”) to pay WesternGeco L.L.C. (“WesternGeco”) approximately $21 million in damages and an additional $5 million in enhanced damages for willful patent infringement.
WesternGeco had initially sued ION in 2009 for infringement of its patents relating to devices used in marine seismic surveys for identifying potential oil and gas deposits beneath the ocean floor.
The $26 million total award to WesternGeco, while substantial, was a fraction of what the court originally ordered against ION. Following a jury trial in 2012, the court originally awarded WesternGeco $124 million in damages, including a $93 million lost profits award.
After appealing to the Federal Circuit and Supreme Court, the court slashed the lost profits portion, leaving only $20.8 million in damages to WesternGeco after costs and interest. In the final judgment against ION, the court also added an additional $5 million to the damages award for ION’s willful infringement of the patents.