A nearly $19 million jury award to a Philadelphia insurance broker in a copyright infringement case should not have been reversed, a U.S. District Court appeals panel has ruled.

In June 2006, a federal jury awarded the Graham Co. $18.9 million, finding that USI MidAtlantic Inc., another insurance broker, and Thomas P. Haughey, a former Graham employee working for USI, had used Graham's copyrighted insurance books in hundreds of sales proposals that netted USI millions of dollars.

On Nov. 21, 2006, the district court reversed the verdict, ruling that the Graham Co. was not entitled to damages for the full 13-year infringement period. The court maintained that the Graham Co. should have known about USI's infringement much earlier.

The three-judge appeals panel rejected that assertion and remanded the matter to U.S. District Court to consider claims by USI and Haughey that the jury award was excessive. If the court rejects those arguments, it shall reinstate the initial verdict, the appeals panel ruled.

The owner of the Graham Co., William A. Graham IV, is the largest investor in Philadelphia Newspapers L.L.C., the parent company of The Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, and Philly.com.

   - Diane Mastrull