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IPO Daily News™

Friday, 22 June 2018

22 June 2018 – Breaking News

****U.S. SUPREME COURT HOLDS PATENT ACT SECTION 271(F) ALLOWS PATENT OWNERS TO RECOVER LOST FOREIGN PROFITS

WesternGeco, LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp. — Today in an opinion by Justice THOMAS, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Federal Circuit decision vacating the award of lost foreign profits to WesternGeco. The patents claimed systems for searching beneath the ocean floor for oil and gas. Based on the presumption against territoriality, the Federal Circuit found Patent Act section 271(f) did not allow patent owners to damages for lost profits outside the U.S.

The Supreme Court found that the presumption against extraterritoriality did not apply because the “conduct relevant to the statutory focus was domestic.” The purpose of Patent Act section 284, which governed patent damages, was “to ‘affor[d] patent owners complete compensation’ for infringements.” The infringement at issue, ION’s exportation of components from the U.S. for assembly abroad, occurred within the U.S., and “the lost-profits damages that were awarded to WesternGeco were a domestic application of § 284.” The Court’s holding is consistent with IPO’s amicus brief in the case, which argued that lost profits were available to compensate for infringement under 35 U.S.C. §271(f), including foreign lost profits, when the patentee proved the acts of domestic infringement caused the foreign lost profits and that the Federal Circuit applied an unduly rigid rule on the sole basis that extraterritorial activity was involved.

Justice GORSUCH filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justice BREYER.
(1 to 4 stars rate impact of opinion on patent & trademark law)


Law & Advocacy

Friday, February 21, 2014

2014 USPTO BUDGET WILL ALLOW HIRING, SATELLITE OFFICES

During the quarterly meeting of the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC), Chief Financial Officer TONY SCARDINO reported that the 2014 appropriations bill signed in January funds the USPTO at $3.024 billion – $90.8 million above the fiscal 2013 enacted level and $238.3 million above the fiscal 2013 sequestration level. The budget will allow the USPTO to hire 1,000 patent examiners and 63 administrative patent judges and provides funding related to opening satellite offices in San Jose, Denver, and Dallas. Projected 2014 spending is estimated at $2.948 billion. The White House will release its fiscal 2015 budget on March 4.


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