Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Federal Circuit Reverses Judgment for SIMO Holdings

The precedential opinion, handed down today, is SIMO Holdings Inc. v. Hong Kong uCloudlink Network Tech. Ltd. (opinion by Judge Taranto, joined by Judges O'Malley and Wallach).  The court reverses a district court decision (including an $8 million damages award) based on an erroneous claim construction, and holds that the defendants are entitled to a judgment of noninfringement.  Since this is a blog about remedies, I won't discuss the claim construction issue, but I mention the decision because I was hoping the Federal Circuit would provide some clarity on the damages issue.  As I discuss in a forthcoming paper, Extraterritorial Damages in Patent Law, the district court awarded damages that (in part) reflected sales the defendant made abroad which were caused by alleged acts of domestic infringement.  In my view, the district court's analysis of the damages issue was correct, but now we will have to wait until another decision comes along to see what the Federal Circuit thinks. 

The Federal Circuit today also published a nonprecedential opinion in Innovation Sciences, LLC v. Amazon.com, Inc., awarding Amazon attorneys' fees in a case in which most of the eleven patents initially asserted were held to be unpatentable subject matter, and two others not infringed.

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