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William E. Thomson

William E. Thomson

McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Enersen, LLP

Los Angeles, CA

213 / 680-6646

[email protected]

Question What is the difference between patent infringement and willful patent infringement?

Question Willful infringement occurs when a patent is infringed and the infringer lacks a good faith basis for believing that it is not infringing or that the patent is invalid. If a patent is infringed willfully, a court can increase the infringement damages by up to three times and, additionally, require the infringer to pay the attorney fees of the patent owner. Before undertaking commercial activity that one knows may infringe a patent, therefore, it is important to obtain a written opinion from a patent attorney, advising that the proposed activity will not infringe and/or that the patent is not valid.

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