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Patents: The Supreme Court Rules, Again

Patents: The Supreme Court Rules, Again

Intellectual Property Practice Group PodcastOn June 13, 2016, the Supreme Court decided Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics and a consolidated case, Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer. In each of these patent infringement cases, a jury had found the accused infringer liable for infringing the patent, and having done so willfully. In the Halo case, the district court declined to award enhanced damages and the Federal Circuit affirmed. In the Stryker case, the district court awarded enhanced damages, but the Federal Circuit vacated that award. The Supreme Court took the cases to determine whether the Federal Circuit’s two-part test for enhanced damages was consistent with 35 U.S.C. § 284. Chief Justice Roberts delivered the opinion of the court, vacating the Federal Circuit’s judgments in both cases because the appellate court’s test for enhanced damages did not permit the district court to exercise the discretion afforded by § 284. The Federal Circuit’s test, adopted in In re Seagate T

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