Section 284 of the Patent Act provides that damages may be enhanced up to three times the compensatory award after a finding of willful infringement. A finding of willfulness does not, however, mandate an enhancement of damages particularly if the accused infringer’s conduct does not merit a full enhancement. The district court for the Eastern District of New York, in Metso Minerals, Inc. v. Powerscreen International Distribution Limited, No. 2-06-cv-01446 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 8, 2011), recently held that a full enhancement of damages was not appropriate in light of certain mitigating factors, especially the lack of litigation misconduct. Other mitigating factors found to weigh against full enhancement were that Metso presented a legitimate defense, the motivation for harm was not sinister, and Metso made no attempts to conceal the misconduct. Conversely, the court found that Metso’s failure to obtain an exculpatory opinion of counsel before commencing the infringing activity, among other factors, justified a doubling of the damages award.

Seminar Information
Seminar Date:
February 07, 2012
District Court Finds Willful Infringement Does Not Necessarily Warrant Full Enhancement of Treble Damages
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