Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Respondents' Supreme Court Briefs in Halo and Stryker Enhanced Damages Cases

Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc. are the two pending U.S. Supreme Court cases that will address the standard for awarding enhanced damages for patent infringement.  On January 13 respondents Pulse Electronics and Zimmer, Inc. filed their merits briefs, available here and here.  (Thanks to Jason Rantanen and Chris Seaman for passing these along.)  Both sets of respondents argue that, historically and as a matter of legislative history, an award of enhanced damages requires a showing of willfulness.  Pulse also argues, among other things, that the Seagate test is consistent with the common-law understanding of willfulness and recklessness; that it "advances the overarching policies of the Patent Act"; that a more lenient standard (one that makes it easier to recover enhanced damages) will chill, rather than promote, innovation; and that the Supreme Court's attorneys' fees decisions (Octane Fitness and Highmark) do not require a different result because the relevant statutory provisions, "although adjacent to one another in the U.S. Code, are largely unrelated, with vastly different purposes, legislative histories, and judicial interpretations. Moreover, the policy considerations that supported the results in Octane and Highmark point to affirmance of the existing standard in this case."  Zimmer raises similar arguments, and also contends that, if the Court reaches the issue at all, it should retain the Federal Circuit's de novo standard of review for the objective prong of the willfulness standard.  (Both parties also argue for retaining the "clear and convincing evidence" burden of proof.)

I believe the remaining amicus briefs are due in today, and will post something about them when I see them.  For previous blog posts on the case, and links to the merits and amicus briefs filed in December, see here, here, herehere, here, and here.

Update:  Here's an amicus brief filed today by Yahoo! Inc. and Arthrex, Inc. in support of affirmance. 

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