Overlooked Patent Cases: Willful Infringement Developments

By Rachel Elsby, Michael Petegorsky and Hannah Price (January 4, 2021, 5:43 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court's 2016 decision in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics Inc. discarded the requirement for objective recklessness and made the subjective beliefs of an accused patent infringer the central focus for any determination of willful infringement.[1]

As recent district court decisions demonstrate, this narrowed focus on a party's subjective beliefs can present challenges to patentees attempting to plead and prove willful infringement where direct evidence of the accused infringer's belief may not be available.

Accused infringers face similar challenges attempting to disprove hyperbolic presentations of circumstantial evidence, as opinions of counsel have not proved to be a bulletproof defense to willful...

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