Since 2013, Cellular Communications Equipment LLC (“CCE”) has filed a series of patent infringement cases against global telecommunication companies such as HTC America, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, LG, Samsung, and ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”).
In 2016, CCE filed a lawsuit against ZTE and its US subsidiary, ZTE (USA), Inc. in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, alleging that ZTE infringed several of CCE’s patents.
ZTE sought summary judgment based, on among other things, its contention that CCE had not come forward with any evidence showing that ZTE (as opposed to ZTE(USA)) made, used, offered to sell, or sold any allegedly infringing products in the United States. The issue turned on the Rule 30(b)(6) deposition testimony of ZTE’s corporate representative. ZTE argued that its corporate representative did not know whether sales at issue occurred in the United States, and thus, there was no evidence in the record that ZTE engaged in any infringing activity in the United States.
The Court rejected ZTE’s argument, reasoning that ZTE “cannot point to its own corporate representative’s lack of knowledge, on a topic in which he was designated to speak as evidence that ZTE does not import the accused devices into the U.S.”
The decision highlights the significance of a corporate representative’s deposition testimony.