New trial in Avid v. Harmonic
The jury in this case found that Harmonic, Inc. did
not infringe two patents asserted by Avid Technology, Inc.
On one of two claim elements that were the focus of the
dispute at trial, the district court gave the jury a narrow
construction based on what the court determined to be a
prosecution disclaimer. We hold that construction to be
incorrect. We also hold that the error on this central trial
issue requires setting aside the non-infringement verdicts,
which were general verdicts as to each patent,
because Harmonic has not argued that the evidence
compels a finding of non-infringement independently of
the construction error. Avid therefore is entitled to a new
trial on infringement, though satisfaction of this particular
claim element is now settled because Harmonic has
not here disputed Avid’s contention that Harmonic’s
system satisfies this claim element when properly construed.
Avid has not, however, shown entitlement to
more than a new trial, i.e., to entry of a judgment of
infringement: the evidence does not compel a finding of
infringement of the other claim element in dispute—
which at present is without a claim construction. Accordingly,
we vacate the judgment and remand for a new trial.