Supreme Court Will Review Federal Circuit’s Test for Willful Infringement
On Monday, the US Supreme Court granted certiorari in two cases in which damages were enhanced for willful patent infringement. The cases, Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. (14-1513) and Stryker Corporation v. Zimmer, Inc. (14-1520), have been consolidated for decision and will be heard by the Court in a single, one-hour oral argument. At issue is whether the Federal Circuit’s two-step test for enhancing patent infringement damages under 35 U.S.C. §284 is too rigid. Last year, in Octane, the Court found that a two-part test for imposing attorney fees under the similarly worded 35 U.S.C. § 285 was too stringent and lowered the standard for shifting fees in patent cases.