Consideration of Reasonable Defense Not Required at Time of Infringement to Avoid Finding of Willfulness

Consideration of Reasonable Defense Not Required at Time of Infringement to Avoid Finding of WillfulnessIn Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group, LTD, the Federal Circuit declared that a district court should not have found Marvell’s infringement to be willful.  The district court had increased the jury determined damages by approximately 23% based on a finding of willful infringement.  The district court based its finding of willful infringement on the fact that in order to have a reasonable defense, Marvell needed to show it was aware of the basis for the defense at the time of infringement, not during litigation.  The Federal Circuit disagreed.

The Federal Circuit ruled that the increased damages were improper.  In so doing, the court held that an infringer does not need to have a reasonable defense in mind at the time of infringement.  Marvell asserted an invalidity defense, which ultimately failed.  However, the Federal Circuit found the position to be objectively reasonable, precluding a finding of willfulness.
Consideration of Reasonable Defense Not Required at Time of Infringement to Avoid Finding of Willfulness In Carnegie Mellon University v. Marvell Technology Group, LTD, the Federal Circuit declared that a district court should not have found Marvell’s infringement to be willful.

source: Maier & Maier, PLLC

345 South Patrick Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
www.maierandmaier.com

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