By Don Wang
As my buddy Vijay reported last November, the Supreme Court granted certiorari for Halo Elecs, Inc. v. Pulse Elects., Inc.., which was consolidated with Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc., to address whether it should change the current standard for awarding treble damages in patent suits. On February 23, 2016, the high court conducted the oral argument, and the transcript is available here. Continue reading →
By Vijay Kumar
The U.S. Supreme Court recently granted certiorari for two patent cases, Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, to decide whether to relax the standard that determines if a district court can award treble damages to a patentee after a finding of infringement.
The legal authority for whether treble damages should be awarded is set forth in 35 § USC 284, which gives the district courts broad discretion to “increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed.” To clarify the rule, the Federal Circuit’s In re Seagate decision in 2007 set forth a two-part test, requiring the patentee to show that the infringer: (1) acted despite an objectively high risk of infringement, and (2) knew, or should have known, the risk of infringement. By granting cert, the Supreme Court will review this objective/subjective two-part test to determine its appropriateness. Continue reading →