IP Litigator Examines US Supreme Court’s Oral Arguments in Foreign Patent Damages Case
IP litigation counsel Matthew Rizzolo (Washington, D.C.) addressed the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral arguments in WesternGeco v. Ion Geophysical, a case about whether patent owners can recover profits lost outside American borders due to domestic infringement.
Mr. Rizzolo was quoted in April 17 articles published in Law360, Managing Intellectual Property, IP Pro Patents and World IP Review. In the argument, the Supreme Court Justices expressed concerns that award damages based on lost profits occurring overseas could conflict with laws in other countries, but blocking the availability of such lost profits could potentially undercompensate patent holders.
He explains that the Supreme Court’s questioning made clear that even if the U.S. border ceased to be an obstacle to lost profits, plaintiffs would still need to address fact-specific issues related to patent damages, such as issues of causation. These issues could prevent recovery and limit damages in future cases, even if foreign lost profits may theoretically be available to a patent owner.