Willful Blindness: New Standard, Same Confusion

Law360, New York (July 22, 2011, 11:43 AM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court set a new standard for induced patent infringement under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) on May 31, 2011, with its holding in Global-Tech Appliances Inc. v. SEB SA.[1]

In an 8-1 decision, the court addressed an issue of long-standing confusion by holding that induced infringement under § 271(b) requires knowledge beyond a “deliberate indifference” previously applied by the Federal Circuit, and more importantly, this knowledge requirement can be satisfied by evidence of “willful blindness.”

By applying the criminal “willful blindness” doctrine, the court...
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