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John Murphy Comments on Supreme Court's Induced Infringement Ruling

News / June 3, 2014

A June 2, 2014 article, “Lawyers Weigh in on High Court's Induced Infringement Ruling,” in Law360 stated, “The U.S. Supreme Court … set aside a Federal Circuit decision that lowered the standard for proving induced infringement, ruling that induced infringement can be found only when one party performs every, not any, step.” Partner John Murphy commented on the ruling, saying:

The decision rolls back the law on inducement to where it was two years ago: there must be a direct infringer under Section 271(a). And it goes further, by focusing attention on the Federal Circuit’s “direction or control” test for divided infringement. The Supreme Court effectively remanded the case back to the Federal Circuit for consideration of the very question that the en banc Circuit set out to review back in 2011, but then avoided: “If separate entities each perform separate steps of a method claim, under what circumstances would that claim be directly infringed and to what extent would each of the parties be liable?” A thorough answer to this question will likely involve serious consideration of vicarious liability principles from general tort law that have not previously been deployed in the Muniauction line of cases.

Read full article here.