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Supreme Court Makes it Harder for Willful Infringers to Escape Punishment

The Supreme Court has made it easier for patent owners to prove willful infringement and entitlement to enhanced damages.  In a unanimous opinion issued Monday in a pair of cases decided together, Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. and Stryker Corporation v. Zimmer, Inc., the Court did away with the Federal Circuit’s “unduly rigid” test for proving willfulness, which had allowed even “wanton and malicious” infringers who intentionally set out to steal the patent owner’s ideas and business to evade liability for enhanced damages if clever counsel were later able to articulate non-trivial—even though unsuccessful—infringement or invalidity defenses.

To read our full client alert on the decision, please click here.

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Authors

Michael T. Renaud

Member / Chair, Intellectual Property Division

Michael T. Renaud is an intellectual property litigator and patent strategist who helps Mintz clients protect and generate revenue from their patent holdings. Clients rely on Mike's counsel on sensitive licensing agreement negotiations, acquisitions, and other technology transactions.
Richard G. Gervase advises Mintz clients on all aspects of intellectual property litigation, including patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret litigation. Richard has represented numerous Fortune 100 companies in IP infringement cases nationwide.

Sandra Badin