Edison Nation Medical’s CEO, founder and inventor, Louis Foreman continues his work to protect the rights of independent inventors at the highest levels. Foreman’s recent Amicus Brief (“friend of the court”) was filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Court in the case Halo v. Pulse, where he urges the court to allow judges to award enhanced (punitive) damages in favor of the patent owner.
In the case of Halo v. Pulse, the plaintiff, a patent owner, had offered the defendant a license for the patent, but the defendant not only declined the offer but continued to knowingly infringe the plaintiff’s patent. When the plaintiff brought the case to court and won, the defendant was only ordered to pay a “reasonable royalty” which is no more than the original license that the plaintiff offered. In cases where the infringer has “not acted in good faith,” or has caused “unnecessary expense and injury” to the patent owner, the judge should have the power to increase the damages owed to the patent owner beyond those that would have been obtained in a license agreement that the defendant refused in the first place
Indeed, infringers should not be able to knowingly and willingly violate patents for years but ultimately pay only the same amount they would have paid the patent owner for a license in the first place. Currently, however, that is the situation that now exists, because an infringer can avoid being stuck with enhanced damages if the infringer’s attorneys, for the first time in the litigation, raise a newly-devised (but ultimately incorrect) argument that the patent is invalid or not infringed, even if this was not the actual reason why the infringer refused to take a license years earlier.
This brief points out the dire economic consequences to inventors and the U.S. economy if the patent rights of individual inventors and small businesses are not respected and protected against predatory infringers who will not respect their rights.
The brief also argues that judges should have the flexibility to increase damages based on “aggravated circumstances,” “unnecessary expense and trouble” and “any special inconvenience” suffered by the patent owner—terms that come straight from opinions of the U.S. Supreme Court in early patent cases that properly respected the rights of patent owners.
To read the entire Amicus Brief, click here.
About Louis Foreman
Louis Foreman and Edison Nation have a long history of protecting the rights of individual inventors. Since 2008, Foreman has served on the nine person Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC) of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In 2013, he was asked to serve as Chairman of PPAC until the end of his term in December 2014. The PPAC was created by Congress in 1999 to advise the Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO on matters relating to the policies, goals, performance, budget and user fees of the patent operation.
Louis Foreman is a prolific inventor, product developer, innovation enthusiast and small business entrepreneur. Over the past 20 years Louis has created 9 successful start-ups and has been directly responsible for the creation of over 20 others. A prolific inventor, he is the inventor on 10 registered US patents, and his firm is responsible for the development and filing of well over 600 more. In recent years, he’s been called upon by Congress to share his point of view on patent reform, by USA Today for commentary on entrepreneurship and often to address schools and universities to propel the advancement of innovation for all ages.
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