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Baker Botts Comments on Supreme Court ruling in Halo and Stryker; Court clarifies requirements for enhanced damages in patent litigation suits


HOUSTON, June 13, 2016 - Baker Botts L.L.P., a leading international law firm, today provided the following comments on the Supreme Court’s ruling in the patent infringement companion cases Stryker v. Zimmer and Halo Electronics v. Pulse Electronics.

“On balance, the Supreme Court may have relaxed the requirements for enhanced damages somewhat, but it was not a clear cut victory for patentees,” said Michael Hawes, partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property practice of the Houston office.

The Supreme Court ruled on June 13, 2016, that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s Seagate standard governing enhanced damages would no longer be applied. “While the Supreme Court removed one requirement for enhanced damages, known as the objective prong, and took away the ability for defendants to rely on defenses only developed for trial, it emphasized the high bar required for the other requirement, known as the subjective prong. The Court also emphasized the ability of the district court judge to refuse enhancement even when ‘egregious misconduct’ has been shown,” added Mr. Hawes.

Baker Botts partner, Aaron Streett, Supreme Court and Constitutional Law practice Chair, observed that the Court was “particularly concerned with safeguarding innovation while penalizing the most egregious cases, where competitors act, as the Court put it, ‘for no purpose other than to steal the patentee’s business.’”

Baker Botts’ IP practice closely monitors changes to the law and rules of practice to relay important implications the developments have on practitioners and IP owners. The group maintains the “Intellectual Property Cases to Watch in 2016,” that provides an outlook on the key issues impacting the industry. Read the full outlook here.

With over 180 lawyers holding 200 advanced degrees, Baker Botts’ IP practice provides unparalleled service, experience and capability in the high technology and life sciences field. To speak to a Baker Botts lawyer, on this or related IP developments, please contact Brecke Latham [email protected].


Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 650 lawyers practicing throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology, and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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