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Science and Technology Law

University of Michigan Law School

2021

Affirmative duty of care

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An Empirical Study: Willful Infringement & Enhanced Damages In Patent Law After Halo, Karen E. Sandrik Dec 2021

An Empirical Study: Willful Infringement & Enhanced Damages In Patent Law After Halo, Karen E. Sandrik

Michigan Technology Law Review

For decades, companies and attorneys have instructed teams of engineers, researchers, and computer scientists to ignore patents. The reasoning for this advice: if there is no pre-suit knowledge of a patent, then it is nearly impossible for a patent holder to prove that enhanced damages are warranted. Pre-suit knowledge is a prerequisite for a finding of willful infringement, which is itself a prerequisite for awarding enhanced damages. The median patent damages award is around ten million dollars, and large companies like Intel, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Microsoft, and Abbott Laboratories have all recently faced billion-dollar patent infringement judgments. In this landscape, a …