Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law

Patent Infringement Judgment Against ION Geophysical for its Sales of Seismic Survey Devices Reduced to $26 Million from Original $124 Million Damages Award

By Daniel Kiang and Marko R. Zoretic August 15, 2017

Editors: Joseph Cianfrani and Boris Zelkind

Patent Judgments and Awards

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.

The case is WesternGeco L.L.C. v. ION Geophysical Corp., Civil Action No. 09-CV-01827 (SDTX)

Meet the Knobbe Martens Attorneys

Daniel Kiang is an associate in the firm's Orange County office, with a focus on patent litigation.  Daniel earned his J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 2015, where he was a...
Marko R. Zoretic is a partner in our Orange County office.  He has handled cases involving patent, trademark, trade dress, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition and breach of...
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