Willful Patent Infringement and Enhanced Damages After Halo

Navigating the New Standard Under 35 U.S.C. 284 Following Supreme Court Ruling

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance to patent counsel on the Supreme Court’s new standard for enhanced damages under 35 U.S.C. §284. The panel will explain the Court’s recent decision and its implications.


On June 13, 2016, the Supreme Court rejected the Federal Circuit’s standard for awarding enhanced damages under 35 U.S.C. §284 in companion cases Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer Inc. The Court overturned the Federal Circuit’s objective recklessness standard established in In re Seagate (Fed. Cir. 2007).

The Court also rejected the clear and convincing evidence standard of proof of willfulness, replacing it with the preponderance of evidence standard. Further, the Court adopted the abuse of discretion standard of review, rejecting the appellate standard of review.

Justice Breyer authored a concurrence in which he emphasized the need for due diligence in the form of a clearance opinion. Further, the concurrence expressed concern that the Court’s opinion should not be taken by district courts to mean willful misconduct can be established by knowledge of the patent and nothing more.

Listen as our authoritative panel of patent attorneys examines the Halo and Stryker decisions and what they mean for enhanced damages in patent cases. The panel will discuss the new standard under 35 U.S.C. §284 and will offer guidance on what companies and their counsel need to do in light of the Supreme Court’s decision.



  1. Halo and Stryker decisions
    1. Rejection of Seagate two-part test
    2. Burden of proof standard
    3. Standard of appellate review
    4. District court discretion and limitations
  2. Implications for enhanced damages in patent cases
  3. Guidance on what companies and their counsel need to do in light of the Supreme Court’s decision


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How will the district courts apply the new standard for enhanced damages?
  • Should companies reevaluate policies regarding when to obtain formal opinions on noninfringement?
  • Will the Halo decision inspire patent trolls?


Matthew P. Becker
Matthew P. Becker

Principal Shareholder
Banner & Witcoff

Mr. Becker focuses his practice on litigating of patent, copyright, and trademark disputes. He has successfully...  |  Read More

Michael Hawes
Michael Hawes

Baker Botts

Mr. Hawes assists companies in technology disputes and in protecting them from future disputes, especially concerning...  |  Read More

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