Translation Site Patent Trial Ends With $1 Million Award


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Translation Site Patent Trial Ends With $1 Million Award

By Vanessa Blum

The Recorder - July 15, 2013

A Northern District patent trial pitting rival website translation businesses and their elite law firms has ended in a $1 million award.

In a verdict reached Friday afternoon, the jury sided with TransPerfect Solutions Inc., represented by Latham & Watkins and Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman.

Competitor MotionPoint Corp. and its lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan did not prevail on any claims.

Specifically, the jury found TransPerfect did not infringe three MotionPoint patents related to scanning a website's content; keeping foreign language versions synchronized; and managing the work of human translators and also found the patents to be invalid. The jury assessed a 4 percent royalty against MotionPoint's revenues and nothing against TransPerfect, after a roughly two-week trial before U.S. District Chief Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland.

Though hardly an eye-popping award, TransPerfect's lead lawyer, Latham partner Douglas Lumish, said in an interview Monday morning that the case was never about money. The team's legal strategy centered on fending off patent claims made by MotionPoint, he said.

"This case was about who was going to have control of the marketplace going forward," Lumish said. "Is it going to be a one-player market with a monopoly patent that blocks everybody out? Or is it going to be good old-fashioned American competition?"

Had the trial gone the other way, MotionPoint was asking for lost profits of $11.6 million and intended to seek a ban on TransPerfect's website translation services.

Instead, jurors found MotionPoint infringed a 2005 TransPerfect patent by employing a single-action translation button and rejected MotionPoint's patents.

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