• Induced Patent Infringement Requires Proof of Knowledge that the Induced Acts Infringe
  • June 3, 2011 | Authors: Joshua D. Curry; Elizabeth Ann Lester; William L. Warren
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP - Atlanta Office
  • Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court held in an 8-1 decision that induced patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) requires proof of knowledge that the induced acts constitute patent infringement. Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., No. 10-6, slip op. at 10 (May 31, 2011). The Court agreed that the inducer’s knowledge of patent infringement may be proved by circumstantial evidence, but reversed the Federal Circuit’s test for knowledge—“deliberate indifference to a known risk that a patent exists”—and replaced it with a “willful blindness” test to confine induced patent infringement to acts that “surpass[] recklessness and negligence.” Id. at 10¿14.