In a challenge to an arbitration award on the basis that the arbitrators exceeded their powers in determining damages, the Third Circuit affirmed the District of New Jersey’s confirmation of the award.
First, the appellant argued that the arbitrator erred by using sales data instead of supply data in arriving at a damages figure. The court stated that this “is precisely the type of decision we have no authority to second-guess under the Federal Arbitration Act. … All that matters is that the arbitrator’s decision had some basis in the record.”
Second, the appellant argued that the arbitrator manifestly disregarded the law in ordering quarterly royalty payments be made to the appellee, since the appellant cannot be made to pay royalties until its claims regarding patent invalidity and unenforceability have been adjudicated. The court noted that the “arbitrator clearly grappled with the import of the Lear decision” and found the appellee’s arguments to be more persuasive. “That good faith effort is more than enough to demonstrate that he did not manifestly disregard Lear.”
PNY Technologies, Inc. v. NETAC Technology Co., No. 19-1635 (3d Cir. Feb. 10, 2020).