Knowledge Is Power: Requiring 'Knowledge Of The Patent'

Law360, New York (September 22, 2011, 1:11 PM EDT) -- The patent law, through sections 35 U.S.C. §§ 271(b) and 271(c), provides a vehicle for patentees to hold indirect patent infringers liable. Section 271(b), the focus of this article, addresses induced infringement in very simple terms: “Whoever actively induces infringement of a patent shall be liable as an infringer.” Section 271(c), the contributory infringement counterpart to section 271(b), is more lengthy and includes a knowledge element by its plain terms.[1]

In interpreting section 271(c), the U.S. Supreme Court held long ago that a contributory infringer must...
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