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Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

May 26, 2017

HALO ELECTRONICS, INC., Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
PULSE ELECTRONICS, INC., FKA PULSE ENGINEERING, INC., PULSE ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, FKA TECHNITROL, INC., Defendants-Appellants

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada in No. 2:07-cv-00331-APG-PAL, Judge Andrew P. Gordon.

          Craig E. Countryman, Fish & Richardson, PC, San Diego, CA, argued for plaintiff-appellee. Also represented by Michael J. Kane, William Woodford, John A. Dragseth, Minneapolis, MN.

          Mark Lee Hogge, Dentons U.S. LLP, Washington, DC, argued for defendants-appellants. Also represented by Shailendra K. Maheshwari, Rajesh Charles Noronha, Nicholas Hunt Jackson.

          Before Lourie, Moore, and Hughes, Circuit Judges.

          Lourie, Circuit Judge.

         Pulse Electronics, Inc. and Pulse Electronics Corporation (together, "Pulse") appeal from the decision of the United States District Court for the District of Nevada awarding Halo Electronics, Inc. ("Halo") prejudgment interest. See Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., No. 2:07-cv-00331-APG-PAL, slip op. (D. Nev. Apr. 6, 2016) (Joint Appendix "J.A." 1-2). Because we lack jurisdiction, we dismiss.

         Background

         Halo owns U.S. Patents 5, 656, 985, 6, 297, 720, and 6, 344, 785 (collectively, the "Halo patents"). In 2007, Halo sued Pulse for patent infringement. Pulse denied infringement and challenged the validity of the Halo patents. Pulse also filed a counterclaim not relevant to the issues in this appeal. Following trial, the jury found that: (1) Pulse directly infringed the Halo patents with products that it shipped into the United States; (2) Pulse induced others to infringe the Halo patents with products that it delivered outside the United States but ultimately were imported into the United States in finished end products; (3) it was highly probable that Pulse's infringement was willful; and (4) the asserted claims of the Halo patents were not invalid for obviousness. The jury awarded Halo $1.5 million in reasonable royalty damages.

         On May 28, 2013, after the conclusion of post-trial briefing, the district court held, inter alia, that Pulse had not willfully infringed Halo's patents and entered judgment in favor of Halo in the amount of $1.5 million. Halo subsequently filed a bill of costs and the court taxed costs in the amount of $51, 087.24. Halo did not file a motion for pre- or post-judgment interest in 2013.

          Both parties appealed various aspects of the disposition to this court. Relevant here, Halo appealed from the district court's conclusion that Pulse's infringement was not willful and attendant failure to enhance damages, and this court affirmed. See Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., 769 F.3d 1371, 1381-83 (Fed. Cir. 2014), vacated and remanded, 136 S.Ct. 1923 (2016). The parties asserted that this court had jurisdiction over the appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1). In its opening brief, Halo characterized the May 28, 2013 judgment as a "final judgment." J.A. 5017. On March 30, 2015, this court's mandate issued ("Original Mandate").

         On June 9, 2015, Halo filed a motion in the district court seeking, inter alia, an accounting for supplemental damages and an award of pre- and post-judgment interest. Pulse filed an opposition to Halo's motion contesting, inter alia, the timeliness of Halo's motion for prejudgment interest.

         On October 19, 2015, the Supreme Court granted, in part, Halo's petition for a writ of certiorari, limiting its review to the question relating to enhanced damages. Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., 136 S.Ct. 356 (2015). The Supreme Court subsequently held that the enhanced damages test applied by this court was inconsistent with 35 U.S.C. § 284, and vacated and remanded to this court for proceedings consistent with its opinion. Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., 136 S.Ct. 1923, 1935-36 (2016). On remand, this court recalled the Original Mandate on July 14, 2016. We then vacated the district court's unenhanced damages award with respect to products that were delivered in the United States, remanded for proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court's opinion on enhanced damages, and reaffirmed its prior opinion in all other respects. Halo Elecs., Inc. v. Pulse Elecs., Inc., 831 F.3d 1369, 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2016). On September 12, 2016, this court's mandate issued ("Remand Mandate").

         On April 6, 2016, prior to the Original Mandate being recalled, the district court awarded Halo (1) prejudgment interest "at the rate set forth in Nev. Rev. Stat. § 17.130, compounded annually, through May 28, 2013"; (2) post-judgment interest; and (3) supplemental damages for direct infringement. J.A. 1. The court did not set the amount of total prejudgment interest or the date from which to begin calculating such interest. Rather, it ordered Halo to prepare an updated calculation of the pre-and post-judgment interest amounts through the date of the court's order, and the parties to submit briefing on the issue of pre- and post-judgment interest if they could not stipulate to the total amount of interest. The court also ordered Pulse to produce financial data to Halo to assess supplemental inducement damages.

         On April 27, 2016, the parties submitted briefing disputing the amount of pre- and post-judgment interest and the correct date from which to start assessing prejudg-ment interest. Halo contended that prejudgment interest on the entire $1.5 million jury award of damages began to accrue on the date that the complaint and summons were served, March 20, 2007. Pulse responded that Halo had not suffered $1.5 million of damages at the beginning of the damages period and thus was not entitled to compensation in that amount of damages as of the date of filing of the complaint. Pulse asserted that the ...


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