Willful Patent Infringement: en banc appeal

UPDATE: On September 13, the Federal Circuit issued its opinion, read the full case review here: Knorr-Bremse v. Dana .

Original: The Federal Circuit recently heard en banc oral arguments in the willful patent infringement appeal Knorr-Bremse v. Dana Corporation. John Marshall Professor Janice Mueller’s new article discusses this case and the dilemmas faced by litigants hoping to defend against willfulness charges by disclosing privileged advice of counsel.

Subject to virtually unanimous condemnation is the Federal Circuit’s “adverse inference” rule, which forces a party accused of willful infringement to choose between two unpalatable options: (i) disclosing privileged advice of counsel to mount a willfulness defense, or (ii) not disclosing such information and being subjected to an adverse inference that an exculpatory opinion was not or could not be obtained.

The appellate decision is expected this quarter.

“Willful Infringement and the Federal Circuit’s Pending En Banc Decision in Knorr-Bremse v. Dana Corp.,” 3 J. Marshall Rev. Intellectual Prop. L. 218 (Spring 2004), available at http://www.jmls.edu/ripl/vol3/issue2/mueller.pdf.