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ION Announces Jury Verdict In WesternGeco Patent Infringement Lawsuit

Stocks in this article: IO

HOUSTON, Aug. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- ION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE: IO) today announced the jury returned a verdict against ION in a patent infringement lawsuit filed against ION by WesternGeco L.L.C. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

As previously disclosed by the company, WesternGeco filed the lawsuit, styled WesternGeco L.L.C. v. ION Geophysical Corporation, in June 2009, alleging that ION's DigiFIN™ lateral streamer control system infringed several method and apparatus claims contained in four WesternGeco U.S. patents regarding control systems for marine seismic streamer steering devices.

The jury found that ION willfully infringed the claims contained in WesternGeco's patents and awarded WesternGeco the sum of $105.9 million in damages, consisting of $12.5 million in reasonable royalty and $93.4 million in lost profits.

A judgment has not yet been entered in the case.  ION will be taking immediate steps to pursue all available legal options to overturn the verdict, including post-verdict motions and appeals.

Brian Hanson, ION's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "We respect the legal process but remain convinced that WesternGeco's patents are invalid and that we do not infringe.  We developed our own technology utilized in DigiFIN and in fact have our own patents covering DigiFIN and other inventions related to lateral steering. We intend to challenge the verdict and the damages amount in the trial court and, if necessary, through the appeals process. As we know after winning our own patent infringement case in the past, the jury verdict is only the first phase in this legal battle.

"We do not expect the ultimate outcome of this lawsuit to impact our ability to conduct business.  In addition, we anticipate that this verdict will have minimal impact on our revenues in the second half of 2012, as DigiFIN sales account for approximately 3% of our projected revenues for full year 2012.

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