As part of a continuing series on Spring 2018 semester courses that relate to innovation and business, this post spotlights Remedies in Patent Law.
“The field of patent remedies is something that is not usually covered much, if at all, in a basic Patent or Intellectual Property course,” observed Professor Tom Cotter of the University of Minnesota Law School during a recent interview. “This is somewhat surprising because at the end of the day in litigation, the remedy is all that matters.” To help rectify this situation, Professor Cotter, the Briggs and Morgan Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota, will be teaching an intersession course on Remedies in Patent Law at the University of Iowa College of Law this January.
As in any litigation, remedies in patent cases are an important part of the process. However, until relatively recently, damages in patent litigation were a secondary thought. “But that day has since passed,” Professor Cotter said. Within the last ten to fifteen years, the United States and other countries have changed their patent laws a great deal. “Since 2006, courts no longer automatically award injunctions to prevailing patent owners,” Professor Cotter explained. “Rather, courts consider various factors to determine whether to award equitable relief.”
In addition, as technology becomes increasingly complex, sometimes involving thousands of separately patented components, the amount of care that goes into determining the amount of damages has increased. Some patents cover inventions that are essential to the operation of a particular device, and may be subject to pre-existing restrictions on the amount of royalty that can be requested. Complicating the landscape, the United States Supreme Court has weighed in on patent remedies issues several times in the last few years.
The course runs from Monday through Friday during the January intersession. It will cover injunctions and damages, including lost profits, reasonable royalties, disgorgement of profits in certain circumstances, enhanced damages, and awards of attorneys’ fees. There will be a final exam. Patent Law is a prerequisite, but students may seek special permission from the instructor instead. Contact Professor Jason Rantanen for further details.
Amanda Marincic -- November 3, 2017