Aug 7 (Reuters) - A U.S. jury on Tuesday returned a $315 million verdict against Scientific Games Corp, saying the gambling products company had initiated a frivolous patent lawsuit in hopes of controlling the market for automatic card-shufflers at casinos.
The Chicago jury awarded $105 million to a group of companies led by Shuffle Tech International LLC that compete with Scientific Games in the market for gaming equipment. The damages were automatically tripled under U.S. antitrust law.
“The company believes the jury reached the wrong result and will seek review of both the finding of liability and the damages award both before the trial court and if necessary on appeal,” said Scientific Games spokeswoman Susan Cartwright in a statement.
Las Vegas-based Scientific Games provides technology and services to government-run lotteries and casinos.
Shuffle Tech and two other companies, Aces Up Gaming Inc and Poydras-Talrick Holdings LLC, collaborated in 2012 on an automatic card shuffler intended to compete with Scientific Games’ products.
Scientific Games filed a lawsuit in 2012 alleging that Shuffle Tech was using its patented technology without authorization.
Shuffle Tech, Aces Up, and Poydras-Talrick responded with an antitrust lawsuit in 2015, claiming Scientific Games obtained overly broad, invalid patents by misleading the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and engaged in “sham patent litigation against any competitor that dared to market competitive card shufflers.”
A jury trial in the antitrust case began on July 16.
Scientific Games had argued in court filings that it did not intend to mislead the patent office and that its lawsuit against Shuffle Tech was not frivolous. (Reporting by Jan Wolfe; Editing by Richard Chang)