Ward & Smith Helps Tickets.com Secure Summary Judgment Defense Win in Texas Patent Infringement Lawsuit

TYLER, Texas – The high-stakes business litigation and intellectual property law firm of Ward & Smithrecently helped firm client Tickets.com secure a summary judgment defense victory in a Texas patent infringement lawsuit filed by Tyler, Texas-based CEATS Inc.

Ward & Smith’s Wesley Hill served as co-counsel for Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Tickets.com.

In the lawsuit filed in April 2010, CEATS accused Tickets.com and a group of companies of infringing patents used in the online selection, reservation and display of airline and event seats for customer purchases. Additional companies targeted in the lawsuit included Continental Airlines, Ticketmaster L.L.C., JetBlue Airways Corp., and others.

One week prior to trial, Mr. Hill of Ward & Smith and co-counsel from the Chicago law firm of Goldman Ismail Tomaselli Brennan & Baum convinced the court to issue a summary judgment ruling in favor of Tickets.com. The ruling extinguished the plaintiff’s infringement and damages claims. Tickets.com was the only named defendant that earned a summary judgment ruling.

A Tyler jury appearing before Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas then rendered a verdict after a trial over the remaining claims and counterclaims on March 20, 2012, finding the asserted patents to be invalid.

“Our client is very happy that the Court granted our summary judgment motion of non-infringement, which enabled the company to avoid the prospect of a damages award at trial,” says Mr. Hill.

Longview, Texas-based Ward & Smith has earned a national reputation in high-stakes cases involving complex commercial litigation, intellectual property law, oil & gas disputes, and serious personal injury claims. Ward & Smith frequently assists lawyers nationwide in complex cases before East Texas juries.