Fed. Circ. Tightens Inequitable Conduct Standards

Law360, New York (May 25, 2011, 7:56 PM EDT) -- The Federal Circuit on Wednesday adopted a more stringent standard for proving inequitable conduct in patent infringement cases, overturning a ruling that deemed Abbott Laboratories' patent for blood glucose test strips unenforceable.

In a split decision penned by Chief Judge Randall Rader, the Federal Circuit sought to toughen the standards for establishing both the intent and materiality needed to prove inequitable conduct.

The court ruled that accused infringers must show that patent holders deliberately withheld material information from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and that the materiality standard for that material should be a “but-for” standard, meaning that information is...

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