is an Associate with Cooley, LLP. He provides strategic counseling and day-to-day patent prosecution advice for clients pursuing patent protection on photonics, optics, lasers, semiconductor devices, electronics, software, telecommunications, robotics and medical devices. He has also represented patent owners and requesters in inter partes reviews and ex parte re-examinations.
For more information or to contact Max, please visit his Firm Profile Page.
Patent damages law is one of the most complex areas in patent law and it is constantly evolving. Attorneys and courts often confuse the principles and get the law wrong. Further, even without the backdrop of constantly evolving and complex damages law, proving damages at trial is one of the hardest aspects of patent litigation. And properly apportioning damages can be one of the most difficult aspects of damages law to get right. The Federal Circuit’s two recent decisions in Exmark Man. Co. v. Briggs & Stratton Power Prods. Grp., No. 2016-2197, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Jan. 12, 2018) and Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Sys., Inc., No. 2016-2520, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. Jan. 10, 2018) shed light on calculating damages for multi-component products. Together, these cases show that the royalty rate must be apportioned based on the incremental value the novel elements add to conventional elements of a claim, while the royalty base must be apportioned based on the incremental value the patented features add to the accused product.
Patenting the distinctive technological features that drive demand for your products and services will make your patent portfolio more valuable by creating a link, or nexus, between your patent portfolio and your products. You can use this nexus to exploit your patents by preventing your competitors from including the most valuable features of your products in their own products without your permission; commanding a higher royalty if you license your patents; increasing your chances of getting an injunction if you need to enforce your patents;
increasing your damages base if you enforce your patents; and defending against an obviousness attack on your patents’ validity by showing that the patented features increased your market share.