Willful infringement does not guarantee enhanced damages

In Polara Engineering Inc. v. Campbell Company, the Federal Circuit reversed an enhanced damages award despite affirming a jury finding of willfulness.  Although the Federal Circuit found substantial evidence supported the jury’s finding of willfulness, it found the district court’s basis for awarding nearly the maximum amount of enhanced damages was not adequately explained, noting that the district court failed to even mention a public use defense.  The takeaway – district courts must fully explain their decision to enhance damages.