Supreme Court Moves to Clarify Induced Infringement Standard

In its most recent pronouncement on patent law, the U.S. Supreme Court once again corrected the Federal Circuit’s understanding of induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. §271(b).

On May 26, 2015, in Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., 191 L. Ed. 2d 883 (U.S. 2015), the Supreme Court addressed the Federal Circuit’s holding that “evidence of an accused inducer’s good-faith belief of invalidity may negate the requisite intent for induced infringement.” Both courts agreed “that liability for induced infringement can only attach if the defendant knew of the patent and knew as well that ‘the induced acts constitute infringement,’” Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., 131 S. Ct. 2060 (U.S. 2011). However, in Commil v. Cisco, the Supreme Court refused the Federal Circuit’s conflation of invalidity and non infringement.

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