Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc.

On October 22, 2014 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that, under the Patent Act, where some activities such as contract negotiations take place within the U.S. and other substantial activities relating to the sales transactions occur outside of the U.S. there is no infringement.    The panel here considered whether Pulse offered to sell products that the defendant manufactured and delivered abroad.  The panel relied on Transocean Offshore Deepwater Drilling, Inc. v. Maersk Contractors USA, Inc., 617 F.3d 1296 (Fed. Cir. 2010) in its finding that the defendant did not directly infringe because the contemplated sales were outside the United States.

Further, the court found that actions in the U.S. did not give rise to infringement of the same patents. The relevant dispute arose in 2002, when Halo sent Pulse communications offering licenses to its patents.   Defendant had an engineer perform brief examination of the patents and concluded that the patents were likely invalid in view of the defendants prior products.  The court found that, because this examination by the Pulse engineer was “cursory,” the infringement of patents relating to actions in the U.S. were not willful.