The Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument On Infringement Liability For U.S. Exporters Under § 271(f)(1): Life Technologies Corp., et al. v. Promega Corp.

Fitzpatrick Case Update
December 7, 2016

On December 6, 2016, the Supreme Court heard oral argument on the interpretation and application of 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1) in Life Technologies Corp., et al. v. Promega Corp. At issue is whether the export from the United States of a single component of a patented multi-component invention, that is later assembled outside the United States, qualifies as an infringing act under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1). The parties’ dispute focuses on the interpretation of the statutory language “substantial portion of the components of a patented invention,” and specifically, whether determining if a given component constitutes a “substantial portion” requires a quantitative assessment of the number of components, an evaluation of the component’s subjective importance, or both.

Written by: Christina Schwarz and Yvonne Stoddard

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