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Opinions of Patent Counsel Written Opinions May Be Best Defense Against Willful Infringement Charges

N ALMOST EVERY patent infringement case, the patent owner alleges that the defendant has not only infringed its patent, but has done so “willfully,” or with wanton disregard of the patentee’s rights. A finding of willful infringement can result in a trebling of the patent owner’s compensatory damages and an award of attorney fees. The most common defense to a charge of willful infringement is that the accused infringer acted in good faith reliance on the competent opinion of patent counsel.

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