Patent Damages

NDCA precludes lost profits where damage was to plaintiff’s related entity, not plaintiff itself

On November 18, 2013, Judge Spero of the Northern District of California issued an order in Volterra Semiconductor Corp. v. Primarion, Inc., Civil No. 3:08-cv-05129, addressing the parties’ competing Daubert and summary judgment motions.  Of the many issues raised, one was of particular note, a lengthy discussion on the ability of a plaintiff to seek damages for injury to a related entity.  The plaintiff, Volterra Semiconductor, claimed damages “as a result of price erosion caused by Defendants’ infringement on certain sales by its subsidiary, Volterra Asia.”  Put differently, because Volterra Asia had to drop its prices because of the alleged infringement, Volterra Semiconductor obtained less profits than it otherwise would have but for the infringement.