Since the creation of the Federal Circuit in 1982, several high profile patent infringement cases have caught the attention of the public. Perhaps the most notorious case is Polaroid's case against Kodak, which ended in 1990, with Polaroid receiving a $873 million judgment against Kodak, and Kodak being forced to abandon its entire instant photograph line.
In August of 2003, a judge found that the maker of BlackBerry, Research in Motion (RIM), had violated a patent held by NTP. The judgment, which RIM is currently in the process of appealing, resulted in a $53.7 million damage award for NTP. If the Federal Circuit upholds the judgment, RIM will also be enjoined from using the patented technology, which deals with the use of radio frequency wireless communications in email systems. Without a subsequent licensing agreement with NTP, this would all but eliminate RIM's BlackBerry line.
In that same month, a jury awarded the University of California and Eolas Technology a $512 million damage award against Microsoft. The patented technology at issue is a component in Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. This was the largest jury award in the United States in 2003. Microsoft has appealed this verdict to the Federal Circuit.
Another patent infringement case involving the Internet and software technologies resulted in a $35 million damage award against Internet auction clearinghouse eBay. The case, which is currently under appeal, could result in a $105 million damage award, since the jury found that eBay willfully infringed on a patent held by MercExchange with their "Buy It Now" feature for fixed-price sale.