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Big Award in Patent Infringement Lawsuit.

Grant Street Group Awarded $38.4 Million for Patent Infringement by Thomson and i-Deal

PITTSBURGH -- Following a trial lasting 6 and a half days, a 6-member jury found media giant Thomson Financial and affiliated company, i-Deal, LLC guilty of willful infringement of a patent belonging to Pittsburgh-based Grant Street Group (formerly, MuniAuction). The jury also awarded Grant Street Group damages in the amount of $38.4 million for its lost profits resulting from the infringement. The patent (No. 6,161,099) issued by the US Patent & Trademark Office in 2000 covers a unique auction process for new-issue, fixed-income financial instruments, including municipal bonds, invented in 1996 by Grant Street Group Co-Founders, Myles Harrington and Dan Veres.

After having its licensing offer rejected, Grant Street Group filed suit against Thomson in June 2001 in Federal Court in Pittsburgh. "It took over 5 years and cost us more than a million dollars to get here," said Myles Harrington, a Co-Inventor and President of Grant Street Group, "but we had a good lawyer, a prudent judge and a very conscientious jury who gave us a fair hearing." "It may be expensive, but the system does work," he added.

The jury found that Thomson and i-Deal had infringed Grant Street's patent more than 12,000 times since January 2001 -- and did so willfully -- by copying a method of auctioning municipal bonds electronically that was invented by Harrington and Veres and protected by special rights granted to the inventors by the US Patent & Trademark Office.

In addition to declaring the patent valid, the jury sanctioned Thomson and i-Deal with a finding of "willfulness", which gives the judge discretion to increase the damage award that must be paid by the defendants to Grant Street by up to 3 times the amount already awarded by the jury (i.e., $115.2 million).

About Grant Street Group (www.GrantStreet.com)

Grant Street Group, with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the country's first and most active Internet auction house for new-issue, fixed income financial instruments. Grant Street designs, develops and licenses customized auction web sites used by municipal and federal agencies as well as by global financial institutions serving as trustees, custodians, broker-dealers, exchange agents, auction agents, and remarketing agents.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 6, 2006
Words:371
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