Photo of Benjamin CallerosPhoto of Margo Casselman

In an order filed January 8, 2021, the U.S. District Court judge overseeing the case cut Motorola’s $760 million jury award against competitor Hytera Corp. by over $200 million. Judge Charles Norgle of the Northern District of Illinois noted that the he made the decision “[w]ith a cool head and a keen eye.” The court found that the $760 million award included a double recovery for Motorola, in that it improperly awarded Motorola “both the $135.8 million in disgorged profits and the $73.6 million in avoided research and development costs.” The court held that the “proper award among these two alternatives is the $135.8 million disgorgement of Hytera’s profits.” The court’s shaving off of $73.6 million from the compensatory damages likewise reduced the punitive damages, leaving the new damages total at $543.7 million. Motorola’s successful lawsuit claimed that former engineers misappropriated thousands of proprietary documents and confidential source code numbering in the multi-millions when leaving to work for Hytera. Motorola still walks away the clear victor, but losing $200 million from that jury award has got to sting.