December 2, 2013: Court Dismisses Claims in WPP/Kantar Media Suit

I have been engaged as an “expert” working for the Boston intellectual property law firm of Wolf Greenfield from December of 2011 until this month (December, 2013). Kantar and Cavendish Square Holdings (a WPP company, and an investor in TRA) filed a lawsuit contesting the validity of TRA’s patent regarding data fusion methods in audience measurement reporting. TRA counter-sued Kantar & Cavendish for intellectual property violations, breach of contract and fiduciary duty claims. See: “Kantar and TRA are at loggerheads over data fusion patent” for an article from Research-Live, written when the suit originated, or “WPP Sues TRA Global Over Analysis System Claims infringement of proprietary method”, from AdWeek. The suit got more complicated with additional patents added to the fray, and a counter-suit filed by TRA, owned by TIVO. TRA was worth $57 million after a round of financing in 2010, and was purchased by TIVO in 2012 for $20 million. TRA claimed that their value at that time would have been $200 million but for the actions of Kantar. The case concluded when the TRA intellectual property claims were tossed out by the courts.

I was engaged to examine the patents and express my opinion as to their validity. My expertese in this area comes from the ground-breaking (and patented) work in TV audience measurement and interactivity that my TargetTV team had done from 1999 through 2006, when TargetTV became a part of Comcast. I knew the technology, the so-called “prior art”, and the business climate at the core of the argument. My work included writing the Expert Report for the court, concerning the validity of the patents. My report was countered by the defendent's expert, and I then generated a response to that counter-report. This was followed by my deposition, and finally, by my Declaration, a report in support of the counter-claim defendent's (this being Kantar) request for a Summary Judgement. The Summary Judgement was granted for all of the intellectual property issues that I covered. See: “Court Tosses Patent Infringement Charges In TRA-Kantar Suit” for an article from Media Post that discussed the ruling.

All in all, this was a very detailed and research-oriented engagement, wherein I was privileged to work with some of the finest intellectual property attorneys. The result, a complete victory, was rewarding.

11/4/2014 Update: The court found against TRA in the WPP (Kantar Media) countersuit, finding that TRA’s assertions in the original case were “frivolous” and attacks on Kantar’s President were unwarranted. The result was a total vindication of Kantar Media and a total loss for TRA. See this article from www.RobinsKaplan.com for a description of this phase of the litigation.




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