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High Court Takes Up Issue of Willful Patent Infringement

November 2015
Thomson Reuters

In an article published on Oct. 28, 2015, Lori Johnson gives insight into two U.S. Supreme Court patent cases that call into question the standard for proving when a defendant has willfully infringed a patent. The cases, Halo Electronics Inc. v Pulse Electronics Inc. and Stryker Corp. et al. v. Zimmer Inc. et al., were granted review on October 19, and the Supreme Court is consolidating them to consider the companies’ arguments that the willfulness standard as set out by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is too rigid and should be relaxed. “If the court creates a more flexible approach for district courts to award punitive damages, companies will be faced with new uncertainty when making risk assessment decisions in business that are heavily protected by patents,” Johnson explains.