Rayburn and Haines Author Article on Willful Patent Infringements

Publication

Christy Rayburn and Julia Haines authored an article for the Daily Journal entitled, “Pleading willful patent infringement takes different forms in different courts."

Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284, a court “may increase” a damages award on a finding of patent infringement “up to three times the amount found or assessed.” The standard for imposing enhanced damages under this section has emerged from case law over the years and historically relates to whether the infringement was found to be willful. In 2016, the Supreme Court dramatically altered the standard for awarding enhanced damages. Since then, district courts across the country have struggled with the pleading standards related to requests for enhanced damages. This past March, Judge William H. Alsup of the Northern District of California lamented the lack of appellate authority in this area. See Sonos, Inc. v. Google LLC, No. C 21-07559 WHA, 2022 WL 799367, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Mar. 16, 2022). Patent plaintiffs and defendants should heed how allegations of willful infringement and requests for enhanced damages are treated across jurisdictions.

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