Article 13 of the Enforcement Directive 2004/48/CE rather confusingly seems to equate equivalent royalty with damages, whereas in many continental legal systems it might fit more easily into the category of unjust enrichment i.e. the infringer has obtained something to which he has no legitimate right.
This is exactly what the Madrid Appeal Court has done in Judgment no. 25/2014 of 24 January 2014 in appeal no. 578/2012. The ruling sets out that the purpose of equivalent royalty is not to compensate a loss suffered by the patentee, but rather the illegitimate invasion of his exclusive right. The Court does not say that it is necessary to show that the existence of a loss is self-evident (ex re ipsa) but rather that there is no need to prove or even consider any such loss. This comes as good news to patentees who up to now ran the risk that a court might find that the loss was not as self evident as they claimed e.g. when the patentee himself is not exploiting the patent in Spain and has made no preparations to do so either directly or through the granting of licenses. Even better, the Court gives clear guidance on what type of equivalent license terms can be sought including an up front payment, a fixed minimum monthly royalty and variable royalty based on sales. This is good news for patent litigators in Spain where judges traditionally tend to be guarded in their damages awards.
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