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One Transmitter or Two?

A large corporation attempted to force two small companies out of business with a lawsuit for infringement of three U.S. patents, one of which disclosed an electronic system. The asserted claims of that patent comprised two transmitters, but the system sold by the defendants in the U.S. contained only one transmitter.

Unexpectedly, the plaintiff's expert report showed a system with two transmitters. In the photos below, arrows point to large round inductors, sitting on top of transmitter circuit boards, indicating the number of transmitters:
Circuit Boards Reveal the Number of Transmitters
The left photo, from the plaintiff's expert report, indicates two transmitters, while the right photo, from a system sold in the U.S., indicates only one transmitter.

The plaintiff had found a system in Germany that was nearly identical to U.S. models but had, in fact, two transmitters. These systems had been shipped directly from China to Germany for test marketing. Although they were never sold nor offered for sale within the U.S., the plaintiff imported one of these systems for examination by its expert, and actually showed it to the jury.

The purpose of the lawsuit was to eliminate competition by draining the defendants' assets with high litigation costs or unfavorable settlement terms. Fortunately, patent protection insurance purchased by the defendants covered all of their costs and they stayed in business. The jury found no infringement of all three patents.

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