Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc.: A Good-Faith Belief That A Patent Is Invalid Is Not A Defense To Induced Infringement

Fitzpatrick Case Update
May 26, 2015

On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that a defendant’s good-faith belief that a patent is invalid is not a defense to a claim of induced patent infringement, while at the same time confirming that a good-faith belief of non-infringement is a defense, and that mere knowledge of the patent is by itself not enough to prove inducement. Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Justices Ginsburg, Alito, Sotomayor, and Kagan joined. Justice Thomas joined in part only. Justice Scalia filed a dissenting opinion, in which Chief Justice Roberts joined.
In reversing the Federal Circuit, the High Court explained that a belief regarding a patent’s invalidity cannot negate § 271(b)’s scienter requirement of “actively induce[d] infringement,” i.e., the intent to “bring about the desired result” of infringement.

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