Sunday, February 23, 2020

Federal Circuit - Arctic Cat v. Bombardier Recreational - Failure to Mark Eliminates Pre-Complaint Damage - $28M Subtracted from $46M Judgment

In Arctic Cat Inc. v. Bombardier Recreational Prods. Inc., the Federal Circuit held that the patent owner Arctic Cat was not entitled to recover damage for Bombardier's watercraft steering control patent infringement occurring before the filing of the complaint, because Arctic Cat and its licensee failed to mark the patented product as required by 35 USC § 287.

Note this resulted in a $28 million reduction in Arctic Cat's $46 million judgment.

It should be noted marking is only required if the patent owner makes a product. It's also a patent owner rather than licensee obligation. Further, a non-practicing entity, or a patent owner asserting method claims, can be awarded damages up to six years prior to the filing of the complaint under 35 USC § 286. In this case, the Federal Circuit held no damages could be recovered for infringing products sold after the sale of unmarked products ceased and before filing of the patent infringement complaint.

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