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In its 1853 decision in Seymour v. McCormick, the Supreme Court established that reasonable royalty patent damages ought to be limited to the patented component’s contribution to the whole product. After 159 years and many damages theories that were “better entitled to the epithet of ‘speculative,’ ‘imaginary,’ or ‘fanciful’ than that of ‘actual,’” we are arguably at a point of inflection. Courts are closely scrutinizing reasonable royalty patent damages claims. Recent Federal Circuit decisions have banned the so-called “25 percent rule,” limited the circumstances in which the entire market value rule can be applied and rejected the use of royalty rates taken from licenses that do not involve technology comparable to that at issue.

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