URC Victorious in Patent Infringement Case

A jury in the California Central District Court has handed Universal Remote Control Inc. (URC) what the company is calling “a complete victory” in a pending patent infringement action started by Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI) more than two years ago.
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A jury in the California Central District Court has handed Universal Remote Control Inc. (URC) what the company is calling “a complete victory” in a pending patent infringement action started by Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI) more than two years ago.

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This litigation began in March 2012 when UEI accused URC of infringing four of its patents. With the jury verdict, URC has now prevailed on each of the four patents at issue.

URC was successful in the early stages of the proceedings, where the Court determined in February 2013 that the asserted claims of one of the patents was invalid. The Court also decided in URC’s favor on two other patents in March 2014 on summary judgment.

On May 21, 2014, after a two-week trial, the jury found in URC's favor on all claims, including holding the asserted claims of the fourth patent invalid and not infringed. The jury also found a second patent (earlier held “not infringed on” in summary judgment) invalid. In total, the asserted claims of three of the four patents-in-suit were dismissed on invalidity grounds.

The jury also determined that UEI was guilty of patent misuse and “unclean hands,” which URC expects the Court to make final. URC plans to seek an award against UEI for its attorneys’ fees and costs based upon these and other grounds.

URC stated in a press release that it “respects the intellectual property rights of others,” but believes that “products and publications already in the public domain cannot and should not be patented by third parties as their own inventions.”

“URC continues to believe that the proper place for competition is in the marketplace, not in court, by serving its customers well,” the company stated.

URC was represented at trial by Sidley Austin LLP, led by partners Peter Kang, Sam Miller, Ted Chandler, and Teague Donahey. URC was also represented throughout this litigation by Ostrolenk Faber LLP led by partners Douglas A. Miro and Michael Hurley.

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