U.S. Court Finds WesternGeco Patents Valid

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

July 12, 2015

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently affirmed the 2014 judgment that ION Geophysical Corp. infringed four seminal WesternGeco LLP patents covering streamer steering technology for marine seismic surveys, and that WesternGeco is the rightful owner of the pioneering technology.

In 2009, WesternGeco filed suit for patent infringement against ION's DigiFIN streamer steering system in U.S. federal court in Houston, Texas. ION was found to infringe one patent on summary judgment, and a 2012 jury found that ION infringed three more WesternGeco patents and rejected all of ION's invalidity arguments.

The trial court affirmed the jury's verdict, awarded WesternGeco supplemental damages and permanently enjoined ION from continuing to infringe with the DigiFIN system. ION's appeal challenged the infringement finding and whether WesternGeco was the rightful owner of the steering technology. The Federal Circuit's ruling rejected these challenges, reversed the calculations of some aspects of ION's damages and remanded the case back to the trial court for further damages proceedings.

“WesternGeco is pleased with the verdict as it reaffirms our commitment to technological innovation and the strength of our intellectual property has again been validated, and that the injunction barring ION's further violations of that property remains in force,” said Tony Bowman, president, WesternGeco. “We invest heavily in technology and aggressively protect the underlying intellectual property to ensure shareholders receive the benefit of the investment.”

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