Supreme Court Expands Patent Owners’ Recovery of Foreign-Based Damages


The US Supreme Court on Friday said it would compensate the profits lost due to the unauthorized use of the company’s patented technology in the victory of Schlumberger NV, the world’s largest oilfield service provider.

The 7-2 decision was that a lower court would have to pay the total amount of damage it would have to pay to violate Schlumberger technology, which compels the US patent law to impose restrictions on offshore application and helps rival ION Geophysical Corp. to locate oil and gas under the ocean at $ 93.4 million demolished the decision to drop it. floor. Both companies are based in Houston.

The decision extends patent applicants’ ability to compensate for foreign damages, which increases the threat of certain violation cases in the United States.

Internet-based companies and others have stated that extending patent losses beyond national boundaries will expose high-tech companies in the US to greater risks related to patents abroad.

The decision initially turned ION’s shares into a tipping point, up 20 percent at one point and triggered a five-minute commercial stance of shares in the New York Stock Exchange. ION shares regularly compensated for the loss and changed very little throughout the day.

Schlumberger shares, meanwhile, have gone up by 4 percent, but most of this was before the decision was made and before the OPEC reached a modest oil production increase early on Friday.

The US patent law applies only in the domestic market in general, but Schlumberger argues that a patented invention must be fully compensated for the violation, including any lost foreign sales, since it protects the components from infringement when provided for assembly abroad from the United States told.

The Supreme Court has accepted it. To write a majority, Justice Clarence Thomas said that ION violated US patents belonging to Schlumberger subsidiary WesternGeco.

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“Overseas events are just incidental for violation,” he said.

Justice Neil Gorsuch said that allowing overseas damage allowed US patent holders to extend their monopoly on an invention to foreign markets.

“This will invite other countries to use their patent laws and our courts to provide control over our economy,” Gorsuch said.

ION Chief Executive Brian Hanson said the company was disappointed in the black, but after the case was returned to the courts, the company would take other arguments to avoid harm.

The Schlumberger spokesman said he was pleased with the decision to “ensure that the company” is fully compensated for financial damages caused by those who choose to infringe their patents. “

The case included four WesternGeco patents on an invention that more efficiently completed seismic surveys to help determine oil and gas drilling locations.

ION has developed a competitive system and sold it to research companies abroad. WesternGeco sued in 2009 and a federal jury in Houston found that Ion violated patents and caused the company to lose contracts.

The jury announced that it had lost $ 12.5 million and $ 93.4 million from foreign tender missions due to violations of the ION.

In 2015, Washington-based US Patent Courts have decided that Schlumberger, a specialist in patent matters, can not compensate for lost profits because the US patent law does not cover the overseas use of infringing products.

President Donald Trump’s administration backed the case to Schlumberger. The case, the Federal Circuit on May 7, was further complicated when it brought the third of the damage in question to the point where it could affect the entire loss.

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