Damages For Lost Profits May Not Be Based On Extraterritorial Services

1869 Words Jul 9th, 2015 8 Pages
Damages for Lost Profits May Not Be Based On Extraterritorial Services Performed by an Infringer’s Customers Under § 271(f).

WesternGeco L.L.C. v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 2013-1527,2014-1121, -1526, -1528, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 11411 (Fed. Cir. Jul. 2, 2015) (Dyk, J.) (Wallach, J., dissenting). Click Here for a copy of the opinion.

WesternGeco LLC sued ION Geophysical for infringement of several U.S. patents covering an oil deposit surveying device. A jury found infringement and no invalidity on all asserted claims and awarded $93.4 million in lost profits and $12.5 million in reasonable royalties. The lost profits were, in part, based on the loss of surveying contracts outside of the US. WesternGeco manufactures the patented device, but does not sell it. Instead, WesternGeco uses it to perform surveys for oil and gas companies. ION Geophysical, in contrast, sold the patented device to competitors of WesternGeco. WesternGeco successfully argued that its damages included $90 million of lost profits it would have earned if it had won surveying contracts that were ultimately awarded to ION’s customers for surveying in international waters.

ION appealed the jury verdict, arguing that WesternGeco was not the owner of the asserted patents, that the trial court made several errors related to its grant of summary judgment of infringement of one patent claim, and that lost profits were incorrectly awarded for activities outside the U.S. WesternGeco appealed the…
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