On remand from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Federal Circuit reopened this case to address the issue of enhanced damages pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284 of the Patent Act, and reaffirmed all other issues. Section 284 in relevant part provides: “[T]he court may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed.”
The district court applied the Seagate test for willful infringement, determining that the alleged patent infringer did not willfully infringe the patents-in-suit, as the objective criteria was not met. On appeal from the Federal Circuit, the Supreme Court rejected the “unduly rigid” Seagate test for willful damages, finding that Section 284 “gives district courts the discretion to award enhanced damages . . . in egregious cases of misconduct beyond typical infringement.” Because the district court had applied the two-part Seagateframework—which includes both an objective and a subjective inquiry—the Federal Circuit vacated the district court’s decision to not enhance damages pursuant to Section 284 and remanded the case for further proceedings.
In the district court, the jury awarded the patentee $1.5 million in reasonable royalty damages as to products delivered in the United States, and while the jury had determined that it “was highly probable that [the alleged patent infringer’s] infringement was willfull,” the district court had rejected enhanced damages under the Seagate test, as the objective criteria had not been met. In its remand, the Federal Circuit stated: “[w]e remand for the district court to exercise its discretion and to decide whether, taking into consideration the jury’s unchallenged subjective willfulness finding as one factor in its analysis, an enhancement of the damages award is warranted.”