Seagate Secures Summary Judgment in IP Indemnification Suit

On September 22, 2015, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati secured summary judgment for Seagate on liability in the company's breach of indemnification contract lawsuit against software vendor Enghouse Interactive (formerly Syntellect). Judge Richard Andrews of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware held that Enghouse breached its contractual duty to defend and indemnify Seagate after Pragmatus Telecom sued Seagate for allegedly infringing patents that covered the live web chat service operated by Seagate's customer service call center.

The court rejected Enghouse's argument that it provided only the software used to operate the live web chat service and did not provide the other components of the call center—such as servers, cables, computers, and customer service agents—that are allegedly required to infringe the asserted patents. The court held that under California law, where an indemnification contract only mentions claims accusing the software of infringement, the indemnity obligation is still triggered if the software "enables the system" that is accused of infringement, "even though other elements were included in the system." The case is Seagate Technology (US) Holdings Inc. v. Syntellect, Inc., et al., No. 1:12-cv-01686-RGA (D. Del.).

The Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati team representing Seagate in the matter included partners Vera Elson and Tony Weibell, as well as associate Kate Mahaffy.

For more information, please refer to the court's opinion.