Jenner & Block

Jenner & Block Secures Dismissal of Longstanding Patent Dispute Against Schneider Electric

Jenner & Block, on behalf of its client Schneider Electric IT Corporation, has secured dismissal with prejudice of all patent claims against Schneider Electric IT (f/k/a American Power Conversion Corp. (APC)) by competitor Server Technology Inc. (STI).  STI had brought three separate federal lawsuits against APC involving patents on power strips used to regulate power provided to computer servers in data centers.  STI made various allegations that APC's products infringed its patents and argued for more than $24 million in past damages as well as an injunction or enhanced royalty on future products.  

The parties agreed to dismiss the cases following the district court's decisive grant of summary judgment in APC's favor on March 30, 2018.  The court adopted APC's argument that STI's two main patents were invalid because they would have been obvious to those of skill in the art at the time of invention under 35 USC Section 103.  The court found that there was a "strong finding of obviousness as a matter of law."  STI's patent claimed no more than the addition of a display to show the amount of current to a conventional power strip, an obvious combination that is not entitled to patent protection under the law.

This summary judgment victory for APC came on remand from the appellate court after years of contentious litigation.  STI brought the first patent case against APC in 2006, a second case in 2011 and a third case in 2015, all in the district court in Reno, Nevada.  The parties had a three-week jury trial in the first case in 2014.  The jury awarded $10.8 million to STI, but Jenner & Block earned a reversal of this award and remand on appeal in 2016.  The dismissals with prejudice conclude the patent disputes between the parties.

The team representing APC included Managing Partner Terrence J. Truax; Partners Reginald J. Hill, Michael G. Babbitt and Adam Unikowsky; Associate Ian Moodie; and paralegal David Nelson.