Metabolite Labs. v. LabCorp

Metabolite Laboratories, Inc. and Competitive Technologies, Inc. v. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (doing business as LabCorp) (Fed. Cir. June 8, 2004)

The Federal Circuit (J. Rader) affirmed the jury verdict of indirect infringement and breach of contract, and affirmed the district court’s award of over $8 million in damages to Metabolite (including damages for willfulness).

As expected, the appellate court ruled that the same claim construction should be used for damage calculations as is used for infringement and validity analysis.

This court declines the invitation to apply a different claim construction for computation of damages than for infringement liability.

Additionally, the court refused to vacate the willfullness damages even though the district court did not examine any of the Read factors in its decision.

That the district court did not explicitly set forth its rationale for awarding Metabolite enhanced damages based on LabCorp’s willful indirect infringement is not fatal to its decision…. The district court’s failure to discuss the Read factors, although contrary to this court’s strong preference for the enumerated bases underlying its decision, in this case was at most harmless error.

Finally, the Appellate Panel held that no justification for a permanent injunction is required once infringement is found.

[T]he district court properly granted the injunction because LabCorp was found to infringe. See W.L. Gore & Assocs., Inc. v. Garlock, Inc., 842 F.2d 1275, 1281 (Fed. Cir. 1988) (“[A]n injunction should issue once infringement has been established unless there is a sufficient reason for denying it.”).