DALLAS, June 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Securus Technologies, a leading provider of civil and criminal justice technology solutions for public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced today that it is supportive of the recent Supreme Court ruling in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc., et al. and Stryker Corporation, et al. v. Zimmer, Inc., et al., that granted District Courts broader discretion to award enhanced damages for willful patent infringement. The Supreme Court's decision increases the chance of a district court tripling a damages award for patent infringement due to a finding of willfulness.
"The Supreme Court justices said the existing Federal Circuit test for determining willful infringement, which can allow judges to triple damages awarded to Securus, for example, was too rigid and allowed some infringers to escape liability for enhanced damages," said Richard A. ("Rick") Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Securus Technologies.
"Prior to the Supreme Court's ruling, the test applied by the Federal Circuit permitted a willful infringer to escape a penalty of enhanced damages merely by showing that it had a reasonable defense, even in a situation where the infringer acted in bad faith. This is important for us because we have filed suits against GTL on several existing patents that we believe GTL is willfully infringing, with more to be filed in the future. GTL had entered into 2 previous patent license agreements with Securus; one in 2003 and another in 2008, for a license to a limited number of Securus' patents. As part of the 2008 license the parties had agreed to not sue each other for patent infringement for five years. That five year period expired in 2013, and although we believe GTL knew it was infringing several additional Securus patents (since its previous license only covered a limited number of Securus patents), GTL willfully chose to not enter into another patent license agreement with Securus – so they understand the consequences of their actions," said Smith.
Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts denounced the fact that the prior test could wrongfully insulate even a wanton and malicious pirate who attempted to steal a patent owner's business from liability for enhanced damages.
"By lowering the bar for the Judges to award enhanced damages, the High Court restored to patent owners a powerful weapon – the threat of an award of up to three (3) times the actual damages," said Dennis Reinhold, Vice President and General Counsel for Securus Technologies.
"The Supreme Court in Halo did grant more discretion to award enhanced damages – and I am in favor of the court considering a potential infringement mindset when determining whether to increase damages for willfulness," said Reinhold.
"But, I am not a fan of non-practicing entities (NPEs) or so called "patent trolls" taking advantages of the patent process in the United States. Securus develops and uses what we patent and others don't have that same business model and that needs to be fixed," concluded Reinhold.
ABOUT SECURUS TECHNOLOGIES
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and serving more than 3,450 public safety, law enforcement and corrections agencies and over 1,200,000 inmates across North America, Securus Technologies is committed to serve and connect by providing emergency response, incident management, public information, investigation, biometric analysis, communication, information management, inmate self-service, and monitoring products and services in order to make our world a safer place to live. Securus Technologies focuses on connecting what matters®. To learn more about our full suite of civil and criminal justice technology solutions, please visit SecurusTechnologies.com.
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SOURCE Securus Technologies, Inc.