“Missbrauch dieser Kinder”

CLE courses seem to be popping up left and right about the impact of the Supreme Court’s 2016 Halo v. Pulse decision reversing the prior Seagate willful infringement standard. The focus of these other CLEs seems to be more on the substantive law of willfulness and how the district courts have responded to the issue and applied the Halo standard.

But willful infringement always has had with it a thorny side issue–the “opinion of counsel” defense, and secondary to that, whether and how reliance on an opinion of counsel as a defense to a willfulness allegation waives the attorney-client privilege or work product immunity. The CAFC’s en banc Seagate decision did more than just adopt a two-part willfulness test. The CAFC in Seagate also clarified the scope of the privilege and immunity waiver.

The CAFC, for example, held in Seagate that communications after the infringement lawsuit is filed are never (or at least almost never) relevant to the accused infringer’s state of mind ...

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