Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Patents
  • Date Filed: October 19, 2015
  • Case #: 14-1513
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: 769 F.3d 1371
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether the Federal Circuit properly applied a rigid two-part analysis to determine enhanced damages for patent infringement?

Petitioner sued Defendant for patent infringement. The Federal Circuit affirmed the trial court’s holding that Defendant did not directly or willfully infringe Petitioner’s patents. The Federal Circuit held that willful infringement must be proven in order to receive enhanced damages. To make this enhanced damages determination the Federal Circuit undergoes a rigid two-part analysis. The two part-analysis requires the patentee to show that (1) the infringer “acted despite an objectively high likelihood” of infringing actions and that (2) the risk of infringement was either known or should have been known by the accused infringer.

The Petitioner asks the Court to review whether the Federal Circuit properly applied a rigid two-part analysis to determine enhanced damages for patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 284. The statute reads that “the court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed.” Id. Petitioner argues that the Federal Circuit’s rigid two-part analysis prerequisite to receiving enhanced damages for patent infringement is unsupported by the statute and asks the Court to eliminate this approach to determining enhanced damages.

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