Austin, TX (Law Firm Newswire) April 1, 2015 – A federal jury in Texas has returned a $58.7 million verdict for a technology firm in a business lawsuit.
After a four-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, the jury found for Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions Inc. (TAOS) and against Intersil Corp. on claims of breach of contract, tortious interference, trade secret misappropriation and patent infringement,
“When merger and acquisition talks break down, accusations like these are not uncommon,” said Gregory D. Jordan, an Austin, Texas business litigation attorney. Jordan is not involved in the case.
The lawsuit involved light sensor technology patented by TAOS, which allows the brightness of video displays to adjust automatically in response to the surrounding levels of ambient light. The technology can provide an improved viewing experience under varying lighting conditions, and it helps preserve battery life in electronic devices.
TAOS patented its technology in 2002. In 2004, Intersil sought to purchase TAOS, and both companies signed non-disclosure agreements. TAOS then shared details of the technology, as well as trade secrets related to vendors and pricing.
In court, TAOS claimed that no reasonable offer to purchase the company ever arrived from Intersil. After acquisition talks broke down, Intersil introduced a competing light-sensor product of its own and outbid TAOS for contracts for the iPhone 3G and iPod Touch. TAOS claimed in the lawsuit that Intersil misappropriated its technology and used proprietary pricing information to undercut TAOS in contract bids.
The jury’s verdict included $48.7 million in damages for misappropriation of trade secrets and $10 million in punitive damages for both tortious interference and misappropriation.
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