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Halo v Pulse on Remand: Willful Patent Infringement Will Hurt

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Friday, August 12, 2016 by Jim Ruttler

The Federal Circuit this week issued its opinion on remand from the Supreme Court - reversing the no enhanced damages decision of the lower district court and sending it back for an implied suggestion to enhance patent damages for willful infringement.

The district court originally issued an opinion of infringement by Pulse but no enhanced treble damages for willfulness on the basis that Pulse had concocted some reasonable theory of non-infringement during litigation. The Federal Circuit then affirmed, but the Supreme Court reversed. In a big win for patent owners, the Supreme Court stated that a reasonable litigation developed defense will not save an infringement who knowingly infringes a patent with disregard.

Here, Pulse knew about the patents and decided to continue selling products without even obtaining a legal opinion. Therefore, it is likely that Pulse’s damages will now go up by as much as three-times the actual amount of damages - making willful patent infringement an extremely costly and unprofitable business practice.

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