USPTO Urges Supreme Court to Reconsider the Federal Circuit’s Enhanced Damages Test

December 22, 2015 – On December 16, 2015, the United States Patent Office and the Solicitor General filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to abrogate the current test for awarding enhanced damages in patent cases. The United States Patent Office and the Solicitor General argued that the current test is overly rigid and places unwarranted restrictions on damages awards. Instead, the United States Patent Office and the Solicitor General reasoned that courts should award enhanced damages in any case where the infringer’s conduct appears unusually egregious. The United States Patent Office and the Solicitor General also argued that appeals courts should give more deference to lower courts when reviewing fee award decisions. The case is pending before the Supreme Court: Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer Inc., 14-1520. In the lower courts, the patents-at-issue were U.S. Patent Nos. 6,022,329, 6,179,807 and 7,144,383, which cover pulsed lavage devices used to clean out wounds and remove necrotic tissue from wound sites.

By: Giancarlo L. Scaccia

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