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.
Supreme Court Reverses Federal Circuit And Holds That Patent-Infringement Damages Suffered Overseas May Be Recoverable Under U.S. Patent Law
06/26/2018On June 22, 2018, the United States Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) on the issue of whether damages suffered overseas can be recovered as remedy for infringement under the U.S. patent laws. WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., 585 U.S. ____, case no. 16-1011. The Supreme Court ruled that such damages can be recoverable.
Patent Notice Printed In Surgical Guide Ruled Insufficient Marking Of Patented Surgical Implant
On May 19, 2018, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin denied a patent owner’s request for reconsideration of a decision that the patent owner had not complied with the marking statute, and that therefore its damages in the pending infringement case would be limited, pursuant to that statute. Acantha LLC v. Depuy Orthopaedics, Inc., et al., Case No. 15-C-1257 (E.D. Wis. May 19, 2018). The Court rejected the patent owner’s argument that placing a patent notice in its surgical guide constituted sufficient marking.
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Federal Circuit Holds That There Is No Right To A Jury Trial On A Claim For Disgorgement As A Remedy For Trade Secret Misappropriation
On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a decision affirming liability of plaintiff’s trade secret misappropriation claim, but vacating the monetary damages award. Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions, Inc. v. Renesas Electronics America, Inc., f/k/a Intersil Corp., Appeal Nos. 2016-2121, 2016-2208, and 2016-2235. The Court held that plaintiff Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions (“TAOS”) did not have a jury trial right on its claim for disgorgement of defendant Intersil’s profits, since disgorgement is equitable in nature and was not historically heard by law courts, at least as it concerned intellectual property claims.
Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument In Key Patent Damages Case
On April 16, 2018, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in the case of WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corporation, which presents the question whether a patent owner can recover damages suffered outside of the United States for infringing acts that occurred within the United States.
Federal Circuit Upholds Texas Trial Court On Section 101 And On Claim-Construction Burden-Of-Proof Issues, And Again Takes Appellate Jurisdiction While Damages Issues Remain Pending In The Trial Court
On January 25, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion affirming the trial court’s decisions that a user-interface patent claims patentable subject matter and that unrebutted expert testimony did not require a jury to find anticipation, as well as its claim-construction decisions, all while damages issues remained unresolved in the trial court. Core Wireless Licensing S.A.R.L. v. LG Electronics, Inc., appeals nos. 2016-2684 and 2017-1922.
Federal Circuit Finds Computer Security Method Patentable, But Overturns Damages Award
On January 10, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an opinion considering the apportionment problem in patent damages and overturning a jury’s $40M reasonable-royalty award. Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Systems, appeal no. 2016-2520.