Mikele Bicolli
Feb 22, 2024

Samsung Prevails in Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Demaray LLC

Patent Litigation

In a recent legal battle that captured attention in the technology sector, Samsung Electronics Co. emerged victorious against Demaray LLC, as a Texas jury ruled that Samsung did not infringe on Demaray's semiconductor patents. The case, which unfolded in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas, centered on allegations that Samsung violated Demaray's patents by purchasing reactors for its semiconductor products at fabrication and research facilities.

The jury's decision came after a period of deliberation during which they twice notified the court of their inability to reach a unanimous verdict. Ultimately, the jury reached a conclusive decision, signaling a significant legal victory for Samsung. Notably, the jury did not delve into the validity of the patents in question, which are identified as US Patent Nos. 7,544,276 and 7,381,657.

Demaray had initially sought over $4 billion in damages, highlighting the magnitude of the legal dispute. Throughout the trial, employees of Samsung's supplier, Applied Materials Inc., provided testimony, offering insights into the intricacies of the semiconductor industry. However, proceedings took an unexpected turn when Judge Alan Albright halted a cross-examination by Demaray after references to an alleged criminal investigation involving the supplier surfaced during the trial.

Following this incident, tensions rose momentarily, prompting Judge Albright to call for a brief recess to "calm down" before proceedings resumed. Despite the contentious atmosphere, Samsung's legal counsel opted to proceed with the trial, expressing concerns over the potentially prejudicial nature of the comments made during the trial.

In their closing arguments, Samsung's legal representatives urged the jury to remain focused on the facts of the case, emphasizing the need to disregard any extraneous information introduced during the trial. They questioned Demaray's motives, suggesting that the company's pursuit of billions of dollars in damages may have influenced its tactics throughout the legal proceedings.

Conversely, Demaray's legal team emphasized the challenges faced by a smaller entity like Demaray when pitted against a corporate giant like Samsung. They urged the jury not to penalize Demaray for its size and to consider the broader implications of the case beyond the courtroom.

Both Samsung and Demaray refrained from immediate comments following the jury's verdict, leaving room for speculation about the potential future implications of the ruling. The legal saga began in July 2020 when Demaray filed suit against Samsung and its affiliated units, alleging patent infringement related to reactor components and magnetron sputtering methods utilized in Samsung's semiconductor manufacturing processes.

Despite Samsung's denial of the allegations and subsequent arguments regarding the patents' validity, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board upheld the validity of the patents in question in June 2022, setting the stage for the courtroom showdown that concluded with the recent jury verdict.

Representatives from Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Desmarais LLP represented Samsung throughout the litigation process.

Original article published in Bloomberg Law.