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Policy: Technology

Nevada high-tech firm wins $10.7m in patent case

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News,Business,Nevada,Law,Technology

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada company that makes equipment to manage power supplies for computer data centers has won a $10.7 million judgment in a 7-year-old patent infringement case.

A federal jury awarded the money to Reno-based Server Technology Inc. in a lawsuit against American Power Conversion Corp., a subsidiary of France-based Schneider Electric SA.

The jury reached its verdict last week after a two-week trial in Reno before U.S. District Judge Larry Hicks.

Brandon Ewing, CEO of the privately owned Server Technology, said the competitor copied his company's patent for computer data power distribution devices. He said his company's products are used by major companies including Facebook as well as government entities.

"We live and die by differentiating ourselves in the marketplace. It's a big deal," Ewing told the Reno Gazette-Journal (http://tinyurl.com/ld342x7).

Elizabeth deCastro, a spokeswoman for Schneider Electric's North America office in Rhode Island, said the company is considering an appeal.

The patents involve Server Technology's vertical-mount electrical power distribution plugstrip, typically four to five feet in length, and its power distribution device with a digital current display.

Server Technology filed its original complaint in late 2006. The jury decision found American Power Conversion's AP7900 series and AP8900 series vertical power distribution units infringed on both of Server Technology's patents.

Ewing and his father, Carrel, co-founded Server Technology in California's Silicon Valley 30 years ago and moved to Reno in 2000. Ewing said they arrived with 25 employees, and now have 150 workers at its manufacturing facilities in south Reno.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com

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