By Morgan Chu and Dominik Slusarczyk
In Search of "Overseas" Lost Profits: the Supreme Court Broadens the Availability of Damages in Patent Cases
Last term, the Supreme Court permitted a patent owner to recover damages for lost profits resulting from overseas economic activity in the WesternGeco case.1 This decision appears to change the law that generally precluded recovery for foreign exploitation of United States patents. Although WesternGeco applies a provision of the Patent Act that is not the focus of typical patent infringement cases, its analysis may apply more broadly to just about any kind of patent infringement. The decision may expand the breadth of damages recoverable in patent cases, particularly when patents are asserted against global companies with substantial foreign operations.
A Territorial Ambiguity in the Patent Act