Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, et al., v. Sprint Communications Company, LP, et al

The Situation

In a patent infringement case between Comcast and Sprint, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania denied a Daubert motion brought by Comcast seeking the exclusion of the expert opinions of NERA Managing Director Dr. Alan Cox.  At issue was the reasonable royalty to be assessed against Sprint for the allegedly infringing use of a technology that Comcast had previously purchased from Nokia.

NERA's Role

Dr. Cox used forward citation analysis as an indicator of a reasonable royalty for the patent in question. To calculate the royalty, Dr. Cox compiled a pool of patents that are technologically similar to the one at issue in the case and determined the number of times each patent was cited by later patents. He also determined the percentage of similar patents that had fewer forward citations than the one at issue. Dr. Cox then performed the same analysis for other patents that Comcast had purchased from Nokia in a portfolio that included the patent at issue. Knowing the purchase price of the portfolio, he then calculated the approximate value of each patent, including the patent at issue, and, thereby, a reasonable royalty for that patent. Finally, to corroborate his findings, Dr. Cox performed the same analysis on technologically similar patents acquired by Sprint under another purchase contract.

The Result

On 21 November 2016, Judge Jan E. DuBois denied Comcast’s Motion to Exclude, finding that Dr. Cox’s opinion and analysis were reliable.