A Los Angeles federal jury on Friday, June 16, 2023, invalidated two patents as it found that a Houston-based urologist stole trade secrets from a rival Beverly Hills urologist who invented the first FDA-cleared cosmetic penile implant reported Law360.
The verdict means that Waymaker client Dr. James Elist will be able to keep the defendant’s rival device off the market. Defendant Dr. Robert Cornell viewed several of Elist’s surgeries in 2018 to learn how to install Elist’s “Penuma” implant. Dr. Cornell had claimed he had asked a mere three questions during the surgeries, an assertion Partner Ryan Baker attacked in closing. Several other witnesses testified that Dr. Cornell asked numerous questions about the procedure and potential improvements to the implant device. “Is it credible that Dr. Cornell claims he asked fewer questions than he witnessed surgeries?” Baker asked the jury. Baker argued that the evidence showed that Cornell signed a nondisclosure agreement with his “fingers crossed” and within months of viewing Elist’s Penuma surgery, filed patent applications based on Elist’s trade secrets.
Those patents were an attempt “to build a legal moat that would prevent the plaintiffs from using their own ideas,” Baker said. After the verdict was read on the ninth day of the trial, Elist told Law360 that he wanted to “thank God” and that the verdict shows that people are “responsible for their actions” and that “the truth, and only the truth, will come out.”
The jury was presented with 52 liability questions and answered 48 in favor of Waymaker’s clients. The court will now consider plaintiffs’ damages claim, which are based on a hypothetical reasonable royalty. According to Baker, “the damages question was a challenge in this case, because we had obtained a preliminary injunction before the defendants were able to sell a single product, but the firm’s clients were substantially harmed by defendants’ publication of trade secrets.” The Waymaker trial team included Partners Baker, Scott Malzahn and Donald Pepperman, and Associates Sam Meehan and Emily Stierwalt.
The case was International Medical Devices Inc. et al. v. Robert Cornell et al., case number 2:20-cv-03503, in the U.S. District Court for the Central
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