WesternGeco L.L.C. v. ION Geophysical Corp., No. 13-1527 (Fed. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
WesternGeco’s patents relate to technologies used to search for oil and gas beneath the ocean floor. WesternGeco manufactures the Q-Marine, and performs surveys for oil companies. ION manufactures the DigiFIN, and sells to its customers, who perform surveys for oil companies. WesternGeco filed suit. A jury found infringement and no invalidity and awarded $93,400,000 in lost profits and $12,500,000 in reasonable royalties. The Federal Circuit affirmed, rejecting arguments that WesternGeco was not the owner of the patents and lacked standing and that the court applied an incorrect standard under 35 U.S.C. 271(f)(1). The court upheld denial of enhanced damages for willful infringement and reversed the award of lost profits resulting from conduct occurring abroad. Following vacatur and remand after the Supreme Court’s 2016 decision, Halo Electronics, the Federal Circuit vacated the judgment with respect to enhanced damages, 35 U.S.C. 284. The Halo decision overturned the two-part Seagate test as “‘unduly rigid,” holding that district courts must have greater discretion in awarding enhanced damages in cases where the defendant’s infringement was egregious, cases “typified by willful misconduct."
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on July 2, 2015.