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Fairchild Faces $315M Patent Infringement Charge

3/5/2014 11:30 AM EST
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lakehermit
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Re: wilful
lakehermit   3/6/2014 12:12:16 PM
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I'm not an attorney but as I understand the idea of willful infringement it is that the infringer had notice (knew of the existance) of the patents, were aware that the patents covered their product and kept on infringing after that notice.

A similar sort of legal action can take place where a person who knew or should have known that something they were doing was dangerous (like driving without brakes) and then injure somebody because of their negligence. Not only will they have to pay damages for the loss that they cause, they will also have to pay an extra amount (or possibly even go to jail) as a punishment for the negligence.  

The Judge in this case may award up to three times the amount of damages as a sort of punishment for knowingly infringing. The judge does not have to award anything however, and it is up to the judge's discretion. There is a good and recent paper on willfulness, although written with a lot of legal jargon, at http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=afac3f58-f817-4b00-a32e-04a93708bd33 

The bottom line here is that if you manage a company and receive a notice of infringement from a patent owner you should take it seriously and let the company legal people deal with it. Many company managers/owners just throw those notice letters in the trash but it will likely come back to haunt them.

krisi
User Rank
CEO
wilful
krisi   3/5/2014 2:18:02 PM
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how do you determine whether the infrigement is wilful?

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