close

For more than four decades, Fenwick & West LLP has helped some of the world’s most recognized companies become, and remain, market leaders. From emerging enterprises to large public corporations, our clients are leaders in the technology, life sciences and cleantech sectors and are fundamentally changing the world through rapid innovation.  MORE >

Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

From our founding in 1972, Fenwick has been committed to promoting diversity and inclusion both within our firm and throughout the legal profession. For almost four decades, the firm has actively promoted an open and inclusive work environment and committed significant resources towards improving our diversity efforts at every level.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we are proud of our commitment to the community and to our culture of making a difference in the lives of individuals and organizations in the communities where we live and work. We recognize that providing legal services is not only an essential part of our professional responsibility, but also an excellent opportunity for our attorneys to gain valuable practical experience, learn new areas of the law and contribute to the community.  MORE >

Year after year, Fenwick & West is honored for excellence in the legal profession. Many of our attorneys are recognized as leaders in their respective fields, and our Corporate, Tax, Litigation and Intellectual Property Practice Groups consistently receive top national and international rankings, including:

  • Named Technology Group of the Year by Law360
  • Ranked #1 in the Americas for number of technology deals in 2015 by Mergermarket
  • Nearly 20 percent of Fenwick partners are ranked by Chambers
  • Consistently ranked among the top 10 law firms in the U.S. for diversity
  • Recognized as having top mentoring and pro bono programs by Euromoney

MORE >

We take sustainability very seriously at Fenwick. Like many of our clients, we are adopting policies that reduce consumption and waste, and improve efficiency. By using technologies developed by a number of our cleantech clients, we are at the forefront of implementing sustainable policies and practices that minimize environmental impact. In fact, Fenwick has earned recognition in several areas as one of the top US law firms for implementing sustainable business practices.  MORE >

At Fenwick, we have a passion for excellence and innovation that mirrors our client base. Our firm is making revolutionary changes to the practice of law through substantial investments in proprietary technology tools and processes—allowing us to deliver best-in-class legal services more effectively.   MORE >

Mountain View Office
Silicon Valley Center
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
650.988.8500

San Francisco Office
555 California Street
13th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
415.875.2300

Seattle Office
1191 Second Avenue
10th Floor
Seattle, WA 98101
206.389.4510

New York Office
1211 Avenue of the Americas
32nd Floor
New York, NY 10036
212.921.2001

Shanghai Office
Unit 908, 9/F, Kerry Parkside Office
No. 1155 Fang Dian Road
Pudong New Area, Shanghai 201204
P.R. China
+86 21 8017 1200


Federal Circuit Ruling Shows Appetite for Revisiting Willfulness

January 13, 2015

​Fenwick & West patent litigation chair Mike Sacksteder was quoted by Law360 regarding an appellate trend he said could “change the dynamic significantly" in many patent lawsuits.

Questions about the proper standard for “willful” infringement surfaced again in the Federal Circuit’s Jan. 13 decision in Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. v. W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

While concurring with the panel’s 2-1 affirmation of the lower court’s finding of willful infringement, Judge Todd Hughes also called for an en banc review of the Federal Circuit’s willfulness standard set by Seagate in light of two 2014 decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Now we have two judges who have clearly stated that the Seagate approach to willfulness needs to be revisited," Sacksteder told Law360, referring to a similar opinion from Circuit Judge Kathleen O'Malley in Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Corporation.

"The more buy-in you get,” Sacksteder continued, “the more likely the court is to take the issue en banc to address it."

According to Law360, if the Federal Circuit were to apply the Supreme Court’s April 2014 holdings from Octane Fitness and Highmark to the willfulness standard, it could become easier for patent owners to prove willful infringement and recover enhanced damages.

"If we do get a critical mass of Federal Circuit judges who think they need to address this issue, it could change the dynamic significantly in a lot of patent lawsuits," Sacksteder said.

He also noted the Federal Circuit agreed last month to an en banc review looking at whether a recent Supreme Court decision limiting laches defenses in copyright cases applies to patent cases as well.

"It shows the Federal Circuit is really paying attention to what the Supreme Court has done recently, and is starting to rethink what they've done in the past to make sure it's consistent with what the Supreme Court has done," Sacksteder said.

The full article is available through the Law360 website (subscription required).