Case Studies

Nationwide Trial Services

Firm Successfully Argues Case for Premier Election Solutions, Inc.

The article below details a recent patent case where MTS worked with Senniger Powers to create and presented various 3D animations, static graphics, and exhibit presentations in St. Louis Federal Court. The 3D animations helped the jury visualize the ballot scanning, reading, and tallying processes.

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The issues in questions were complicated and technical; the animations helped the attorneys teach the juror in simple to understand visual means. In addition the designers at MTS created a key timeline graphic which was requested by the jury during deliberations. The timeline illustrated the significant events that lead to the lawsuit, and why the ‘944 and ‘313 patents were enforceable.

Throughout the trial, seasoned trial supervisor Mike Toth assisted both Senniger Powers and Oliff & Berridge attorney’s present deposition video, animations, PowerPoints, and 100’s of exhibits. Trial presentation software was utilized during every aspect of the proceedings, from openings to closings Mike was at the wheel driving the presentation.

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In the case, Avante argued that eight different claims in U.S. Patent Nos. 6,892,944 and 7,077,313 were valid and enforceable against optical scan election equipment sold by Premier. The voting equipment allows voters to mark their votes on a ballot which is then scanned and read by the voting equipment to tabulate the result. The ballots include identifiers so that the same machine can count the vote for many different ballot styles.

Senniger Powers, on behalf of Premier, argued that such ballots and corresponding identifiers were found in the prior art. Senniger Powers also argued that material prior art was withheld from the U.S. Patent Office when the Office was making the decision to grant the patents. Prior to the trial, the Federal Court had already ruled that a third patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,036,730, was not infringed by Premier as a matter of law. The jury also exonerated Sequoia Voting Systems, who was separately represented.

“Premier is pleased with the outcome of the trial and the jury’s support in reaffirming that claims against Premier are invalid, and that there has never been any infringement of those patent claims,” said Robert Evans, a partner with Senniger Powers.

Evans argued the case and led the legal team, which included partner Jennifer Hoekel and associate Sara Gillette. The suit was originally filed in June 2006. The verdict was announced on February 9, 2009.

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