Updated 12/10/12 at 10:55 a.m.
Jones Day is suing former client Vizio Inc. in Washington federal court, claiming that the consumer electronics corporation owes the firm more than $6 million in attorney fees.
According to a complaint (PDF) filed yesterday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Jones Day did intellectual property work for Vizio from May 2008 to October 2012. The firm alleged that Vizio, purportedly unhappy with how a patent prosecution had played out, refused to pay invoices from June through November of this year.
Jones Day is seeking $6,725,981 in fees, plus interest. According to the complaint, about $1.7 million of those fees were for work unrelated to the patent matters.
A Vizio spokesperson could not immediately be reached today for comment. A Jones Day spokesman, Dave Petrou, declined to comment. Jones Day partner Henry Asbill is representing the firm in the lawsuit.
According to the complaint, Vizio hired Jones Day in May 2011 to bring complaints for patent violations against nine entities before the International Trade Commission. After filing the ITC action, some respondents settled with Vizio, but others did not. Two respondents filed a countersuit against Vizio; Jones Day said in the complaint that firm lawyers warned Vizio of the possibility of a countersuit.
Before Vizio's case and the countersuit were supposed to go to trial, Jones Day said that it negotiated a settlement that would require Vizio to pay $4 million to Renesas Electronics Corporation and Renesas Electronics America, which had pursued the countersuit.
Vizio was unhappy about having to pay Renesas and argued that Jones Day should have to cover the costs of the settlement, according to the complaint. Jones Day says that Vizio claimed they were never told that Renesas would be named in the original patent complaint, an allegation that Jones Day denied.
"This excuse for not paying has no basis in fact. Jones Day lawyers who worked on the ITC Action and the Renesas countersuit recall clearly and specifically informing Vizio management on more than one occasion who would be named as respondents in the ITC Action and why," the firm claimed in its complaint.
The case is before U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle.
Update: Jones Day voluntarily dismissed the case in federal court on December 7 and filed a new complaint against Vizio in District of Columbia Superior Court the same day.