Is a Damages Expert Required?

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The court pointed out in its decision that the prevailing claimant should receive damages which are adequate to compensate for the infringement.  The decision also indicated that establishment of a reasonable royalty rate does not necessarily require expert testimony.

However, in this particular case, the court determined that Unicom presented no evidence whatsoever to support its claim for damages. The judge was presented no evidence on which a reasonable royalty calculation could be done, so no damages were awarded.

It is interesting to note that the case had been ongoing since 2006. Yet during seven years of litigation, Unicom took no affirmative steps toward proving its damages.

Ultimately, the plaintiffs claimed the reasonable royalties were $36,000 to $37,000. One might imagine that with that level of damages, it may not have seemed cost effective to retain a damages expert. Yet when faced with the alternative – – an award of $0 – – an expert witness may have been a good investment.

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