Williams & Connolly Argues Closely Watched Patent Case Before the Supreme Court

April 2018

Williams & Connolly presented oral argument on April 16, 2018, to the United States Supreme Court on behalf of the respondent in WesternGeco v. ION Geophysical, No. 16-1011.  This case presents the question whether lost profits arising from foreign use of a system patented in the United States, where a component of the system was supplied from the United States, are available in a case involving patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f).  WesternGeco filed suit against ION for infringement of patents on devices used to search for oil and gas under the ocean.  At the conclusion of a trial in the Southern District of Texas, the jury determined there was infringement and awarded WesternGeco damages in the form of $93.4 million in lost profits.  On appeal, the Federal Circuit agreed with ION and reversed the jury’s award of lost profits.  WesternGeco is appealing the Federal Circuit’s reversal of the jury’s award of lost profits damages.  This is a closely watched case, and the outcome could have a significant influence on United States patents and their international reach.

Kannon Shanmugam, David Berl, Amy Saharia, Masha Hansford, Will Marks, and Matt Rice represent ION.

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