During Randall Rader’s (Chief Judge of the nation’s patent appeals court) recent Texas visit, he recounted a tale of his visit to Shanghai where he advised his foreign counterparts that “Courts have an obligation to render the same justice to all nationalities!” Judge Rader claims he was then asked by the President of the Shanghai High Court “Is that the way they do it in the Eastern District of Texas?”
However, while the implication here is that East Texas courts fail to accord respect to foreign companies, experience shows the reverse is more likely. Lamenting to a home-town newspaper, the CEO of Chimei InnoLux remarked that “The issue of patent infringement is being taken too seriously sometimes.” (“Chimei to Postpone Chinese Fab Investment,” The China Post, June 29, 2011). This statement, coming from a company already found to be infringing a US Patent, was not well received by Judge T. John Ward in Marshall, Texas. In a September 30 order, Judge Ward awarded the patent owner a royalty rate for “ongoing” infringement (since InnoLux continues to infringe) and then doubled the amount due to the willfulness of InnoLux’s ongoing actions, no doubt motivated by its CEO’s comments. Judge Ward stated:
The Court finds that this statement by InnoLux’s CEO shows InnoLux’s lack of respect for this Court and the jury‟s verdict. It is also an affront to the United States patent system—a system of Constitutional origin. The Court, therefore, finds that this also warrants a strong enhancement because it further reflects the egregiousness of InnoLux‟s conduct.
True, the Chinese manufacturer will probably complain that it was “home-towned.” In reality, the company’s apparent lack of respect for intellectual property rights is to blame.