District Court Rules That Plaintiff Must Plead Facts Beyond Mere Knowledge In Complaint For Willful Infringement
On July 13, 2020, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan issued a ruling on a motion to dismiss claims relating to willfulness, induced, and contributory infringement. Michigan Motor Techs. LLC v. Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Case No. 19-10485 (E.D. Mich. July 13, 2020). The Court granted the motion after finding that plaintiff had not met the pleading requirements from Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2), and specifically ruled that an allegation of willful infringement for enhanced damages requires a pleading of egregious conduct.
Federal Circuit Vacates Enhanced Damages Award
On July 10, 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) issued an opinion in an appeal from a District Court decision in a patent-infringement case, affirming the District Court’s finding of patent validity, but vacating the District Court’s award of enhanced damages of two-and-a-half times the original damages amount. Polara Eng. Inc. v. Campbell Co., Appeal Nos. 2017-1974 and 2017-2033 (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2018). The CAFC found that the District Court wrongly assessed the closeness of the case, and remanded the enhanced-damages issue to the District Court for further consideration.
Eastern District Of Wisconsin Upholds Jury’s Willful-Infringement Finding And Awards Prejudgment Interest, But Declines To Enhance Damages; Employee Engineer’s Invalidity Analysis An Issue
Last fall, a jury found Snap-On Inc. to be a willful patent infringer and awarded patent owner Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. (Milwaukee) approximately $28 million in damages. On December 29, 2017, Judge J. P. Stadtmueller of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin entered an order resolving the parties’ post-trial motions. In the order, Judge Stadtmueller upheld the jury’s finding of willful infringement and required Snap-On to pay prejudgment interest for part of the time period requested by Milwaukee, but denied Milwaukee’s request to further enhance damages. Milwaukee Electric Tool Corp. v. Snap-On Inc., case no. 14-CV-1296-JPS.