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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

2 - Lost Profits and Disgorgement

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Summary

This chapter addresses two types of monetary remedies for patent infringement: (1) recovery of the patentee’s lost profits and (2) disgorgement of the infringer’s profits.  Both remedies make a comparison between what actually happened and a hypothetical “but for” world in which no infringement occurred. But the two remedies have substantially different objectives:  Lost profits are intended to compensate the patentee by restoring it to the position it would have occupied absent infringement, while disgorgement may serve other purposes, including deterrence, recapturing wrongful gains, and encouraging ex ante licensing of patented technology. Section 1 addresses several key issues regarding lost profits awards, including the availability and standard of proof, the role of noninfringing alternatives, potential recovery for the sale of related but unpatented goods, whether and how to apportion lost profits awards for complex products, and potential recovery for other infringement-related harms.  Section 2 describes the justifications for, and availability of, the disgorgement (accounting) remedy in major patent systems and, additionally, analyzes a number of questions related to calculating such awards. In both sections, recommendations are made and areas for further research are identified.