Columbia University was granted a motion for partial summary judgment in a patent infringement case it is pursuing against Symantec Corporation. On July 2, Judge M. Hannah Lauck of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia held that Symantec may not assert at an upcoming trial the defense that Columbia’s patents are invalid on the basis of prior art, which generally is the primary defense raised by a defendant in a patent case. As a result, the patent trial will focus on Columbia’s claims for infringement as it seeks compensation for Symantec’s use of machine-learning computer security technology developed by Columbia professors.
The team was led by S&C partners Garrard Beeney and Dustin Guzior, and also includes special counsel Steve Elliott and associates Angela Chang, Steve Hsieh, Chris Graham and Rohini Tashima.
This ruling helps move substantive patent law to a more moderate position in favor of patent owners. Judge Lauck fully adopted Columbia’s argument that Symantec could not assert numerous defenses of prior art invalidity that Symantec could have included, but chose not to, in related administrative proceedings in the Patent Office.