In his opinion, Justice Thomas acknowledged that there's a presumption against extraterritoriality of federal statutes but questions of extraterritoriality are determined using a two-step framework. The first step asks whether the presumption has been rebutted by a clear indication of extraterritorial application in the statutory text. The second step asks whether the case involves a domestic application of the statute, which is determined by identifying the statute's focus and asking whether the conduct relevant to that focus occurred in the U.S territory. If it did, then it's a permissible domestic application of the statute. In resolving this case under step two using the court's discretion, the Court reasoned that step one would require resolving difficult questions that do not change the outcome of the case but could have far-reaching effects in future cases.
Justice Thomas, citing the Court's decision in RJR Nabisco v. European Community, which found that conduct relevant to a statute's focus which occurs in the U.S. involves a permissible domestic application of the statute, even if other conduct occurred abroad. The Court found that the focus of Section 284, in a case involving infringement under Section 271(f), is on the act of exporting components from the U.S. and therefore, the focus is domestic conduct. Because ION's domestic act of supplying the components that infringed WesternGeco's patents, lost-profits damages that were awarded were a domestic application of Section 284.
In his dissenting opinion, joined by Justice Breyer, Justice Gorsuch agreed with the Federal Circuit's result in concluding that the Patent Act forecloses claim for lost profits because in their view the Act's terms prohibit the lost profits sought in the case whatever the general presumption against extraterritoriality applicable to all statutes might allow.