Judge Stark Holds that WesternGeco Applies to Direct Infringement, Opening Door to Worldwide Patent Damages

October 21, 2018

This past June, the US Supreme Court held in WesternGeco v. ION Geophysical that lost profit damages are available where the defendant’s infringing act is the manufacture of a specialized component in the US, for assembly into a patented invention abroad. While WesternGeco was limited to that specific type of infringement (as established in 35 USC Section 271(f)(2)), the decision’s reasoning has widely been viewed as applicable to other types of infringement that also involve conduct outside the United States. Delaware Chief Judge Leonard Stark has now taken such a position in a recent ruling in Power Integrations v. Fairchild Semiconductor. Earlier this month, Judge Stark held that worldwide damages are available for direct patent infringement due to WesternGeco, certifying the decision for immediate appeal to the Federal Circuit. The ruling, if upheld, could result in higher damages for a wide variety of patent suits.

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