damages : CAFC Alert

In a design patent infringement case, 35 U.S.C. §289 authorizes the award of total profit from the article of manufacture bearing the patented design

Kumiko Ide | May 27, 2015

Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. et al.

May 18, 2015

Before: Prost, O’Malley and Chen.  Opinion by Prost.

Summary

The CAFC affirmed the jury’s verdict on the design patent infringements and the validity of utility patent claims, and the damages awarded for these infringements appealed by Samsung.  However, CAFC reversed the jury’s findings that the asserted trade dresses are protectable.  Regarding the design patent infringement issue, Samsung proposed that functional aspects of the design patents should be “ignored” in their entirety in a design patent infringement analysis, the CAFC disagreed.  Moreover, the CAFC found that the district court did not err by allowing jury to award damages based on Samsung’s entire profits on its infringing smartphones.

サムスン社は、控訴審において、意匠特許の機能的部分は意匠特許侵害の分析において無視されるべきであると主張した。CAFCは、機能的部分の装飾的な特徴は意匠特許によりカバーされるため、意匠特許侵害の分析において機能的部分を無視すべきというサムスン社の主張には同意しなかった。また、サムスン社は、意匠特許侵害の損害賠償は、侵害商品の全体としての利益(entire profit)に基づいて計算されるべきでないと主張したものの、特許法第289条は、意匠特許侵害の損害賠償を侵害商品の全体としての利益(entire profit)に基づいて計算することを可能としているため、CAFCはこの主張にも同意しなかった。


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“Insufficiently Final” Court Judgments Subject to USPTO Reexamination Decision

Ken Salen | July 10, 2013

Fresenius USA v. Baxter Int’l.

July 2, 2013

Panel:  Newman, Dyk, Prost.  Opinion by Dyk.  Dissent by Newman.

Summary

The CAFC vacated an infringement judgment and an award of damages because of a later finding of invalidity by the Patent Office in a reexamination proceeding. The CAFC held that because (1) the USPTO canceled the asserted claims while (2) the infringement suit remains pending before the CAFC, Baxter no longer has a cause of action.


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Damage calculations based on entire market value rule is improper absent evidence that patented feature drives demand for entire multi-component product

Shuji Yoshizaki | September 19, 2012

LaserDynamics, Inc., v. Quanta Computer, Inc.,

August 30, 2012

Panel:  Dyk, Clevenger and Reyna.  Opinion by Reyna.

Summary

LaserDynamics, owner of a patent regarding optical disc drives, sued Quanta Computer Inc. and Quanta Storage Inc., etc. for patent infringement.  In calculating damages, the entire market value rule is a narrow exception to the general rule under 35 U.S.C. § 284 adequate to compensate for the infringement.  Only if showing that the patented feature drives the demand for an entire multi-component product, a patentee may be awarded damages as a percentage of revenues or profits of the entire product.  The date of the hypothetical negotiation for the purpose of determining the reasonable royalty is the date that the infringement began, which is sometimes or often earlier than the date of the first notice of the infringer’s infringement.  To prove or tend to prove a reasonable royalty, the evidence of the granted licenses and the royalties received by the patentee for the patent in suit are probative.

原告は光ディスクドライブに関する特許の所有者であり、光ディスクドライブメーカーと、そのドライブを組み込んだラップトップPC組立メーカーとを特許侵害で訴えた。争点の一つは、損害賠償の計算方法であるが、特許技術の部品を含む完成品の市場価格に基づく計算方法(entire market value rule)は、合理的なロイヤルティ(reasonable royalty)について定めた特許法284条の例外であるため、特許の特徴が複数部品からなる完成品全体に対する需要を引き起こしたということを証明しなければ、そのような計算方法を使用することはできない。換言すると、そのような立証ができた場合にのみ、特許権者はその完成品の売上もしくは利益に乗じた損害賠償を受けることができる。また、合理的なロイヤリティを決定するための判断基準となる日は、いわゆる仮想的交渉日(hypothetical negotiation date)に基づいて判断されるのであるが、それは、被告による侵害開始の日であって、被告が侵害を最初に知った日(たとえば警告日や訴状提出日)ではない。さらに、合理的なロイヤルティを証明するためには、問題特許に関して、特許権者が受け取ったロイヤルティなどが、証拠の一つとなる。


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The threshold to acquiring intervening rights by reexamination requires new or amended claim language

Bernadette McGann | March 21, 2012

Marine Polymer Technologies, Inc. v Hemcon, Inc. (en banc)

March 15, 2012

Panel: Rader, Newman, Lourie, Bryson, Gajarsa, Linn, Dyk, Prost, Reyna and Wallach (en banc)

Opinion for the court by Lourie. Rader, Newman, Bryson and Prost join in full and Linn joins in part II (Intervening Rights)

Opinion for the dissent by Dyk. Gajarsa, Reyna, and Wallach join in full and Linn joins in parts I-II (Claim construction, dismissing HemCon motion for JMOL and/or new trial)

Summary:

Based on statutory interpretation of 35 U.S.C. §307(b), the Majority held that the threshold requirement for acquiring intervening rights is that there must be amended or new claims that did not exist in the original patent but have been found to be patentable during reexamination.  The CAFC held that amended means to make formal changes to the actual language of a claim.  A claim is not amended merely because the scope of the claim has been altered by arguments presented during reexamination.


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CAFC Allows Willful Infringer to Continue Infringements for an “Ongoing Royalty” Due to “the Public’s Interest to Allow Competition in the Medical Device Arena”

Stephen Parker | February 16, 2012

Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc., et al. v. W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

February 10, 2012

Panel: Gajarsa, Linn and NewmanOpinion by Gajarsa.  Dissent by Newman.

Summary

This decision concludes a forty-year-long story that began in 1973 between two cooperating individuals that independently filed patent applications for vascular grafts in 1974.  Those applications went to interference in 1983 and have been the subject of ongoing litigation since, concluding now in the current CAFC decision.  The Arizona district court from which the present case was appealed expressed that this was “the most complicated case the district court has [ever] presided over.”  In this case, the Gore inventor was the first to both 1) conceive of the invention and 2) file a patent application in 1974 (i.e., filing 6 months prior to the Bard inventor), but Gore lost in an interference before the Patent Office.  Now, Gore is found to be willfully infringing the patent that was awarded to Bard, and is subjected to doubled damages (i.e., totaling $371 million) and attorney’s fees (i.e., totaling $19 million).  However, despite these findings, the CAFC allows Gore to continue infringing, declining a permanent injunction and awarding reasonable royalties in the amount of between 12.5% to 20% for future infringements due to the weight of “the public interest to allow competition in the medical device arena.”


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Joint Inventorship of a novel compound may exist even if co-inventor only developed method of making

Bernadette McGann | January 25, 2012

Falana v. Kent State University and Alexander J. Seed

January 23, 2012

Panel:  Linn, Prost and Reyna.  Opinion by Linn.

Summary

The CAFC held that a putative inventor who envisioned the structure of a novel chemical compound and contributed to the method of making that compound is a joint inventor of a claim covering that compound.  One may be a joint inventor even if co-inventor’s contribution to conception is merely a method of making the claimed product and said co-inventor does not synthesize the claimed compound.


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