SCA Hygiene Prods. v. First Quality Baby Prods.:The Supreme Court Eliminates Laches as Defense to Patent Infringement

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - March 22, 2017

In a 7-1 decision issued yesterday in SCA Hygiene Products Aktiebolag v. First Quality Baby Products, the United States Supreme Court eliminated the doctrine of laches as a defense to damages claims for patent infringement.  Previously, the Federal Circuit’s longstanding rule was that laches—i.e., unreasonable, prejudicial delay in commencing suit—could preclude recovery of damages, even for acts of infringement committed within the six-year period allowed under the Patent Act.