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Chief Judge Stark denies motion to vacate summary judgment of no willful infringement in light of Halo

Chief Judge Leonard P. Stark recently considered plaintiff’s motion to vacate summary judgment of no willful infringement in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., 136 S. Ct. 1923 (2016).  Greatbatch Ltd. v. AVX Corporation, No. 13-723-LPS (D. Del. Dec. 13, 2016).  A jury trial was held in January 2016 after which the jury found in plaintiff’s favor and awarded $37.5 million in damages.  Id. at 1-2.  Prior to trial Judge Stark granted defendants’ motion for summary judgment of no willful infringement relying on the objective prong of the Federal Circuit’s test for willful infringement articulated in In re Seagate Technology, LLC, 497 F.3d 1360, 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2007).  Subsequently, the Supreme Court issued Halo, abrogating the objective prong of SeagateId. at 2.  In denying plaintiff’s motion to vacate, Judge Stark noted that Halo made it “necessary to reconsider the Willfulness Order, [but did not], in this case, require vacating the prior determination that Greatbatch is unable to prove willfulness.”  Id.  In particular, the record showed that while defendant had pre-suit knowledge of the patents-in-suit, defendant made “good faith efforts to avoid infringement of any valid patents.”  Id. at 7 (emphasis in original).  Further, plaintiff did not “point to evidence from which a reasonable jury could find any infringement of these patents by A VX [that] was ‘egregious,’ ‘deliberate,’ atypical, or otherwise characteristic of the type of infringement that could support a finding of willful infringement.”  Id.

Greatbatch Ltd. v. AVX Corporation, No. 13-723 (D. Del. Dec. 13, 2016)

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