Definition[edit | edit source]

Treble damages are damages awarded in an amount that is three times the amount for which the trier of fact finds the wrongdoer liable. Generally treble damages can only be awarded where provided by statute.

U.S. patent law[edit | edit source]

Pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284, a court may award up to three times the amount of damages found or assessed. This authority may be exercised when the defendant has willfully infringed a valid patent — that is, the defendant knew about the patent but nevertheless went ahead with the infringing conduct without a reasonable basis for so doing.[1]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Ryco, Inc. v. Ag-Bag Corp., 857 F.2d 1418, 1428, 8 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1323 (Fed. Cir. 1988)(full-text) (“The test is whether, under all the circumstances, a reasonable person would prudently conduct himself with any confidence that a court might hold the patent invalid or not infringed.”); see also Central Soya Co. v. George A. Hormel & Co., 723 F.2d 1573, 1577, 220 U.S.P.Q. (BNA) 490 (Fed. Cir. 1983)(full-text).
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