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IP Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Challenge to Willful Infringement Standard

October 19, 2015

Today the U.S Supreme Court granted a writ of certiorari in two patent cases, agreeing to consider challenges to the current standard for finding willful infringement, which allows the judge to increase a patent damage award by up to three times. The cases are Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc. et al., and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer Inc., et al. The Court has consolidated the two cases for decision.

The Federal Circuit established the current standard for willfulness in 2007’s In re Seagate Technology, LLC, which was widely viewed as limiting the instances in which willful infringement would be found, making it more difficult for patent holders to collect enhanced damages. In both cases that the Court will hear, the patent holders now argue that the current standard for willfulness is overly rigid and that the Supreme Court has already effectively rejected the Federal Circuit’s current willfulness test last year through its ruling in Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., which related to the standard for imposing attorney fees under the patent statutes.

Fitch Even attorneys will report once the Court has issued its ruling.

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