War of the Drones: Parrot to Pay $7.8M in Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Last week, a Pennsylvania jury handed down one of the first patent infringement verdicts involving drones. Drone Technologies Inc. filed suit against France-based Parrot SA for infringement on two of their patents, U.S. Patents 7,584,071 and 8,106,748.

Parrot is a well-known drone manufacturing company, focusing primarily on the toy and hobby market.

The jury ruled in favor of Drone Technologies Inc., granting $7.8 million in damages. Of that amount, $3.8 million was in past damages and $4 million in future damages. While seemingly large, this was $17 million less than what Drone Technologies asked for in their complaint.

The complaint alleged that Parrot’s infringed the company’s remote control app. Purchasers of two of Parrot SA’s drone models could download a free app on their Apple or Android device for the purpose of operating and controlling the drone remotely.

Parrot SA filed Inter Partes Review petitions for both patents, IPR2014-00730 and IPR2014-00732, with the Patent Trials and Appeal Board (PTAB). These petitions seek to invalidate Drone Technologies’ patents on the basis that the claims contained in each patent are anticipated by the prior art under 35 U.S.C. § 102 and obvious under 35 U.S.C. § 103. Both petitions have been instituted by the PTAB.

You can view the entire dockets for both Inter Partes Review proceedings, IPR2014-00730 and IPR2014-00732, on Docket Alarm. Additionally, you can receive the latest updates on each IPR proceeding through Docket Alarm’s tracking feature. Simply click the “Track this Docket” button on the docket page to receive an email alert when the docket is updated.

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