HALO ELECTRONICS, INC. v. PULSE ELECTRONICS, INC., ET AL.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court made two significant changes to patent law. First, the Supreme Court threw out the current test for enhanced damages holding it was unduly rigid. The Court held such rigidity limited a district court judge’s discretion to award enhanced damages. Second, the Court lowered the burden of proof necessary to find enhanced damages to a preponderance of the evidence. The previous standard was clear and convincing evidence. While the Court did not provide a new test, it indicated 180 years of enhanced damage awards established they are not to be meted out in typical cases, but instead as a sanction for egregious infringement behavior.

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