Intellectual Property Law

New Matter FALL 2018, Volume 43, Number 3

Everything You Need to Know About Foreign Patent Damages


Tensegrity Law Firm

In today’s global economy, goods and services often travel through numerous countries before reaching their final destinations. Components of a product can be sourced from anywhere in the world; these components may then be assembled into final products in different locations to minimize labor and assembly costs. These final products will likely be transferred and sold in yet another location only to be shipped across continents to maximize business profits.

Despite the increasingly global development of international markets, patent protection remains individualized and is enforceable only within the territory of the granting country. In the U.S., absent congressional consent, the presumption against extraterritoriality dictates that U.S. law is presumed to apply only within the U.S.’s territorial jurisdiction. The purpose of this rule is simple: to avoid unintended clashes between countries with opposing laws and to avoid intrusion upon other nations’ foreign sovereignty.1 Under this rule, liability arises when an infringing product is made, used, sold, or offered for sale in the U.S., but not when the infringing act occurs outside the national borders.

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