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Big Suits: Fenwick Verdict One of Top Five Patent Litigation Awards

April 06, 2007

Fenwick & West's Asyst litigation team was recently featured in an American Lawyer article entitled "Big Suits."

In one of the top-five patent litigation awards in the past 15 months, a federal jury in San Jose awarded $74.7 million to Asyst Technologies, Inc., a Silicon Valley company that makes equipment for semiconductor foundries.

The January 31 decision against Jenoptik AG marks the end of an 11-year battle.

Asyst claimed at trial that when the technology—known as the SMART-Traveler System—came onto the market in the early 1990s, it fundamentally changed the industry. But in 1995, Asyst alleged, Jenoptik began marketing its own version, using inside information obtained by executives that partnered with Asyst in the 1980s, eventually causing their sales to drop.

The trial, originally scheduled for 1998, was twice dismissed on summary judgment and twice overturned by appellate judges over the seven year period.

The nine-day trial began on January 12, 2007. The jury awarded $43.2 million to Asyst for price erosion, with the balance for lost profits through 1998. The defense says it plans to appeal.

The Asyst litigation team included: partners Darryl Woo and Michael Sacksteder and associates Joseph Belichick, Jeffrey Lasker, Mashhood Rassam, David Schumann and Karen Server.