Defendant’s belief re: patent validity not a defense to inducement

In Commil Usa, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (Supreme Court 2015), the Supreme Court held that, because induced infringement and validity are separate issues and have separate defenses under the Act, belief regarding validity cannot negate Section 271(b)’s scienter requirement of “actively induce[d] infringement.” “When infringement is the issue, the patent’s validity is not the question to be confronted.” The Court pointed out the practical rationale that if accused infringers believe a patent being asserted against them is invalid, they have other, more appropriate mechanisms at their disposal to secure a ruling of invalidity, such as seeking ex parte reexamination of the patent by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, something Defendant Cisco did in this case.

Commil USA v Cisco Systems – US S.Ct. 2014 – D’s Belief re Patent Validity not Defense to Inducement

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