Seagate: Trends Over The Last 18 Months

Law360, New York (January 23, 2009, 12:00 AM EST) -- Approximately a year and a half ago, the Federal Circuit in In re Seagate Tech. LLC, 497 F.3d 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2007), dramatically changed the standard for proving willful patent infringement, making it significantly more difficult for patent holders to establish willfulness.

This change in the law was significant because a finding of willful infringement can render an infringer liable for up to treble damages and attorneys’ fees.

Prior to Seagate, a potential infringer with notice of another’s patent rights had an affirmative duty “to exercise...
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