Willful trademark infringement is NOT a prerequisite to recover profits

The US Supreme Court, in Romag Fasteners v. Fossil, ruled that willful trademark infringement is NOT a prerequisite to recover profits. The decision is relevant because it becomes the applicable precedent in the US to determine damages. Prior to the Supreme Court ruling, there were discussions concerning the willfulness issue as a prerequisite to awarding damages. Although the trademark law did not establish that to infringe a trademark with bad faith was a prerequisite to awarding damages, some said that was, in fact, a requirement.  It is now clear that infringement, whether committed in good or bad faith, may generate an award of damages.

The decision is a significant win for trademark holders and future plaintiffs.