Is there a damages threshold below which a US judge would not accept a patent litigation case? Let's say defendant demonstrates that plaintiff would at most get 10k $ in damages in questionable patent confrontation. Would judge accet such case? Knowng in advance that this would result in overlitigated case. If so is it the same for all states?


2 Answers 2


No. There is no threshold.

For example, a patent case can even be accepted if requested damages are $0, but the plaintiff simply requests that the alleged infringer stops making, using, sell, offering to sell, OR importing into the United States.

Jurisdiction is likely Federal which is applied the same in all states.

Talk with a patent litigation attorney about this before doing anything.


Damages are capped at $100,000 for "small cases" by federal patent law. Therefore it applies to all 50 states. A judge can chose weither to accept a case or not (Ref: http://www.invention-protection.com/ip/publications/docs/Damage_Relief_for_Patent_Infringement.html)

  • Could you provide some references to the law(s) that state this amount?
    – Parker
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 10:50
  • @vallismortis invention-protection.com/ip/publications/docs/…
    – Tmanzz122
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 13:34
  • The corresponding sections of the legal code are 35 U.S.C. 284 - Damages and 35 U.S.C. 285 - Attorney fees. I'm still not clear on where the $100,000 amount is coming from.
    – Parker
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 14:23
  • 1
    The question was opposite - is there a lower boundary. If defendant shows that there are no mathematical grounds for damages to amount to , let's say, 10k $ then judge would dismiss the case as worthless litigation,,,
    – alex
    Commented Sep 12, 2015 at 17:20

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