Initially, Halo Electronics sued Pulse Electronics for Infringement in 3 transformer patents, which was affirmed by the district court of Nevada, charging $1.5 Million dollar to Pulse Electronics.
Was Halo satisfied with damages?
Halo was willing to enhance kingroot app download the damages.So, Halo initiated proceedings under U.S.C. Title 35 Sec. 284. This section is used when plaintiff wants to increase the damages 3 times to the amount infringed. But for that statue states infringement should be wilful. Yes, you read it right. Infringement is either deliberate or innocent. This fancy statue will favor you only if you can prove infringement is deliberate.
For enhancing the damages, Halo requested En Banc Review.
How willful infringement is established?
Statute relies on following tests:
Patentee should establish by evidence that objective was to infringe. Likelihood of infringement was known to infringer. Infringement was known or so obvious that it should have been known
Supreme Court of the USA: Hearing En Banc review
US Court of Appeals & State courts of appeals: Panel Hearing
In U.S Court of Appeals & State courts of appeals, panel members release the decision (generally 3 or more in number). After decision, the petitioner or respondent can request En Banc review.
Appeal is not granted until issue is of prime importance like:
Interpretation of law Opinion contradiction to state or federal law. If En Banc review is rejected then parties can approach to the Supreme Court of USA.
En Banc review was turned down?
Halo raised question on enhanced damages provision, which was not important enough to call all the judges for decision.
Issues raised from this appeal
- Reconsideration of standard for judgment of wilfulness
- Whether wilfulness should remain standard for enhancing damages
The Pulse’s defense, challenging validity of patents,was not strong. It was later on negated by the District court of Nevada. En Banc review requested by Halo didn’t show any concern regarding wilfulness decision. They should’ve challenged statute’s wilfulness issue instead of invoking U.S.C. Title 35 Sec 284.
Decision of not granting En Banc review was justified as patent is a territorial right & appellant was unable to prove that defendant was intended to infringe directly. According to U.S.C. Title 35 Sec 271, if someone infringes indirectly then he must have done direct infringement as well. Pulse was already charged a fine of $1.5 million but it was not worth calling all members of court for hearing the decision.