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Unknowingly Inducing Patent Infringement Is A Risk

Publication Date: 
January 01, 2011
Steven Seidenberg

Professor Mark A. Lemley is quoted in the following article about the different tests for inducing patent infringement. Steven Seidenberg with InsideCounsel reports:

Businesses have tried many different ways to avoid infringing other companies’ patents, but one strategy clearly doesn’t work. If a business doesn’t itself infringe a patent, but deliberately enables others to do so, the business will still face liability—for inducing patent infringement. This cause of action—inducing infringement—is vital to many patent owners. Electronics companies, for instance, often rely on this cause of action to go after overseas wrongdoers. Financial and Internet firms often use it to protect their online business method patents. ... If the court upholds the "deliberate indifference" test, many legitimate companies would suddenly be at risk for inducing patent infringement. "Given the common practice in Silicon Valley and elsewhere of not conducting a patent search, if the Supreme Court affirms, it could expose many of the largest technology companies in the world to a new source of liability," says Prof. Mark Lemley of Stanford Law School.