U.S. Department of Justice is Against Most Sales Bans for Patent Infringement
January 9, 2013 6:43 PM
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Fines should be the punishment in most cases
Patent battles in court rooms are common all around the world as manufacturers in the electronics and technology industries try to squeeze all the money they can out of their intellectual property. Many of the patents that are used in these legal cases around the world are for key patents that ensure mobile and other electronic devices are able to work together. Many of these patents are required by law to be licensed at reasonable rates and are known as
The United States Department of Justice has announced that companies that own these key patents should only be able to win sales bans as a punishment for patent infringement in very rare and very specific cases. The argument by the FTC and DOJ is that infringement on "standard essential patents" should be punished with monetary damages instead of sales bans.
These essential patents have been used in courtrooms around the world like
, and HTC in an attempt to block the sales of competing products.
The statement issued jointly by the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department urges the United States International Trade Commission to make public interest the key factor when deciding whether to order an injunction against an imported product that allegedly infringes on an essential patent.
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1/10/2013 9:58:48 AM
Sales bans are intended to prevent additional damage to the entity who's patent appears to be violated. The evidence needs to be compelling for a sales ban as the judicial system does not desire to hurt legitimate sales nor support illegal sales. It's a fine line and the decision is not always black and white, nor correct or appropriate as different justices share different views on evidence requirements to decreed a sales ban.
More often than not, the entity filing the lawsuit does not get a sales ban even if they are 100% deserving of one. The court falsely believes that monetary damages can compensate for lost market share and installed customer base, but in many case it can not and failure of the judicial system to act appropriately can destroy an entity who's patent was infringed.
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