U.S. SUPREME COURT HOLDS SOME FOREIGN SALES MAY BE INCLUDED IN PATENT INFRINGEMENT DAMAGES
The U.S. Supreme Court has weighed in on yet another patent law matter that, in contrast to other decisions in recent years, actually favors many U.S. patent owners and technology companies. As companies look to market their products across international borders, they have found it necessary to navigate the maze of national and regional laws regarding the protection of intellectual property in order to guard against the theft of their key technologies. Holders of U.S. patents have historically attempted to gain such protection by attempting to expand the territorial reach of U.S. patent laws. Those efforts were rewarded when, in 1984, Congress added subsection (f) to 35 U.S.C. §271, which permits claims of infringement of a U.S. patent for products that, under certain circumstances, are made and/or sold outside of the U.S. On June 22, 2018, the High Court added teeth to section 271(f) when it held that a patent owner can recover lost foreign profits on foreign sales of products found to be infringing under that section: WesternGeco LLC v. ION Geophysical Corp., — U.S. — (June 22, 2018).
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