That's Your Opinion Letter

Law360, New York (April 6, 2011, 11:59 AM EDT) -- A company cannot afford to ignore allegations that it has willfully infringed a patent. In patent cases, the difference between innocent infringement and willful infringement can be substantial. If infringement is found to be willful, the court can, under 35 U.S.C. § 284, enhance damages up to three times the damages awarded.

An accused infringer can generally avoid a willfulness finding by acting reasonably at the time it first learns of the patent or alleged infringement. Accordingly, companies accused of patent infringement have, in some cases,...
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