The Kleiman V Wright civil trial continues into its fourth week without a verdict from the federal jury. It appeared that the jury was not comfortable valuing Bitcoin.
The case pertains to competing claims regarding the invention of the Bitcoin. Dr. Wright claims to have invented the Bitcoin. Ira Kleiman is the brother of the late Dave Kleiman who was an expert in computer forensics.
Kleiman, representing the plaintiffs, claims that Kleiman and wright had entered into a partnership for the invention and mining of bitcoins. The plaintiff claims that as a partner they are entitled to the bitcoin and the related IP created. The plaintiff’s claim is that Wright has benefited from unjust enrichment.
Kleiman makes a claim for $36 billion for the bitcoin and $126 billion for the related IP. In addition the plaintiffs are claiming $17 billion in punitive damages.
After extensive deliberations, the jury asked for the word ‘conferred’ to be defined. The definition was sought because the word comes up in instructions to the jury.
The plaintiffs now need to prove, through evidence, that Wright benefited from Kleiman. The plaintiff also need to prove that Wright retained that benefit without passing on any benefit to Kleiman.
For determining the amount of damages, the jury must establish that a partnership did exist as claimed. Then the quantity of bitcoin held by the partnership, its current value needs to be established. Finally, the jury can then award the plaintiff 50% of the value. A similar exercise would then need to be undertaken for the IP.
If the jury finds evidence against Wright that he is guilty of conversion or fraud, it must award exemplary damages to deter others. The final decision by the jury will be based on the nature and degree of the wrongdoing, and the financial capability of the defendant to pay the damages.