Morpho Detection Inc. Receives Favorable Damages Award in Chemical Detector Patent Infringement Matter

January 30, 2013

A federal jury in the Eastern District of Virginia (Norfolk Division) awarded Analysis Group client Morpho Detection Inc. nearly $2 million in damages in a patent infringement matter involving trace chemical detector technology. Morpho claimed that Smiths Detection Inc. had used a technology in its IonScan 500DT explosives and narcotics detector that infringed on a 2004 Morpho patent. Morpho sought reasonable royalty and lost profit damages for Smiths Detection's infringing sales.

The Analysis Group case team, led by Managing Principal Jeffrey H. Kinrich and Vice President Suzanne Heinemann, was retained by Armstrong Teasdale LLP on behalf of Morpho to conduct a lost profit and reasonable royalty analysis to calculate damages, and to prepare affirmative and rebuttal reports. Mr. Kinrich quantified Morpho's lost profits for each infringing detector that Morpho would have sold, as well as a reasonable royalty applicable to the remaining sales. He considered a number of factors, including the demand for Morpho's patented feature, the absence of acceptable non-infringing alternatives available to Smiths Detection, and Morpho's profit on the sale of the detector and consumables.

At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found Morpho's patent to be valid and infringed, and Morpho was granted a mixed award of lost profits and a reasonable royalty. For lost profit damages, the jury adopted Mr. Kinrich's per-unit lost profit calculation totaling $1.6 million. In addition, the jury awarded a reasonable royalty of $360,000 based in part on Mr. Kinrich's assessment of the "design-around" costs that Smiths Detection would face to avoid infringement. In post-trial motions, Morpho claimed several million dollars in additional damages based on sales that took place after the discovery cutoff.