LOS ANGELES, January 24, 2014: In the jury trial of the patent infringement case brought by the Alfred. E Mann Foundation for Scientific Research against Cochlear Corporation and Cochlear Ltd., a verdict was filed in the plaintiff’s favor on January 23, 2014 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, finding that Cochlear infringed on the Alfred E. Mann Foundation’s patents and further, that the infringement was willful. The Alfred E. Mann Foundation was awarded damages of approximately $131.2 million. This was the culmination of the suit which was filed in December 2007.
The Alfred E. Mann Foundation is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit medical research foundation dedicated to the development of advanced medical technologies to provide significant improvements to health, security, and quality of life for people suffering from debilitating conditions. Cochlear is the world’s largest seller of implantable cochlear stimulators and processors.
This case arises from the Alfred E. Mann Foundation’s seminal work on cochlear implants, which restore hearing to patients with nonfunctional inner ears. That work yielded the patents-in-suit. After failed licensing discussions with Cochlear Ltd. in 1992, the Alfred E. Mann Foundation formed Advanced Bionics as a commercial operating company to manufacture cochlear implants, and exclusively licensed to Advanced Bionics the patents.
The Alfred E. Mann Foundation was represented by Morgan Lewis Litigation and Intellectual Property partner Daniel Johnson, Jr.,, Litigation partner Daniel Grunfeld, and Intellectual Property partner Michael Lyons.
“Presenting the complex issues in the case to a lay jury required careful strategy, deft planning and expert presentation,” said David Hankin, CEO of the Alfred E. Mann Foundation. “When Dan Grunfeld joined Morgan Lewis, and we were introduced to Dan Johnson and Mike Lyons, we knew our trial team was among the best in the United States. They mastered some very difficult subject matter, absorbed a six-year litigation record in a very short time, and they delivered in a big way.”