June 13, 2016
Following the dictum of "I know it when I see it," and in keeping with the Supreme Court's practice of granting the judiciary arbitrary power, the Supreme Court today in Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics (14-1513) found that willful infringement is whatever a court can rationalize. "Section 284 of the Patent Act provides that, in a case of infringement, courts 'may increase the damages up to three times the amount found or assessed.' 35 U.S.C. §284. The pertinent language of §284 contains no explicit limit or condition on when enhanced damages are appropriate. At the same time, however, discretion is not whim."