This statute sets out the types of money damages that the owner of a registered or unregistered mark is entitled to recover in a trademark infringement lawsuit and provides for attorney fees to be awarded in exceptional cases.
Profits, damages and costs; attorney fees
When a violation of any right of the registrant of a mark registered in the Patent and Trademark Office, or a violation under section 1125(a) of this title, shall have been established in any civil action arising under this chapter, the plaintiff shall be entitled, subject to the provisions of sections 1111 and 1114 of this title, and subject to the principles of equity, to recover (1) defendant’s profits, (2) any damages sustained by the plaintiff, and (3) the costs of the action. The court shall assess such profits and damages or cause the same to be assessed under its direction. In assessing profits the plaintiff shall be required to prove defendant’s sales only; defendant must prove all elements of cost or deduction claimed. In assessing damages the court may enter judgment, according to the circumstances of the case, for any sum above the amount found as actual damages, not exceeding three times such amount. If the court shall find that the amount of the recovery based on profits is either inadequate or excessive the court may in its discretion enter judgment for such sum as the court shall find to be just, according to the circumstances of the case. Such sum in either of the above circumstances shall constitute compensation and not a penalty. The court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party.
Treble damages for use of counterfeit mark
In assessing damages under subsection (a), the court shall, unless the court finds extenuating circumstances, enter judgment for three times such profits or damages, whichever is greater, together with a reasonable attorney’s fee, in the case of any violation of section 1114(1)(a) of this title or section 380 of Title 36 that consists of intentionally using a mark or designation, knowing such mark or designation is a counterfeit mark (as defined in section 1116(d) of this title), in connection with the sale, offering for sale, or distribution of goods or services. In such cases, the court may in its discretion award prejudgment interest on such amount at an annual interest rate established under section 6621 of Title 26, commencing on the date of the service of the claimant’s pleadings setting forth the claim for such entry and ending on the date such entry is made, or for such shorter time as the court deems appropriate.
Statutory damages for use of counterfeit
In a case involving the use of a counterfeit mark (as defined in section 1116(d)) in connection with the sale, offering for sale, or distribution of goods or services, the plaintiff may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered by the trial court, to recover, instead of actual damages and profits under subsection (a), an award of statutory damages for any such use in connection with the sale, offering for sale, or distribution of goods or services in the amount of—
not less than $ 500 or more than $ 100,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale, or distributed, as the court considers just; or
if the court finds that the use of the counterfeit mark was willful, not more than $ 1,000,000 per counterfeit mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale, or distributed, as the court considers just.
Statutory damages for cybersquatting
In a case involving a violation of section 1125(d)(1), the plaintiff may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered by the trial court, to recover, instead of actual damages and profits, an award of statutory damages in the amount of not less than $ 1,000 and not more than $ 100,000 per domain name, as the court considers just.