Inducement of infringement

Any person who actively induces infringement of a patent is liable as an infringer.  See 35 U.S.C. § 271(b)

Infringement by inducement is a form of secondary liability for patent infringement.  A person who does not commit direct infringement but asks or induces another to do so, or sells a product with advertising or instructions about an infringing use may be held liable for inducing infringement.

The threshold requirement for a claim of inducement to infringe is the existence of direct infringement.  Although the statute does not mention intent, case law establishes proof of intent as a necessary element for a claim of inducement.  Circumstantial proof that the person accused of inducing infringement knew of the patent, and knew that his or her activities would lead to infringement of the patent is generally sufficient to establish the requisite intent.  See DSU Med. Corp. v. JMS Co., Ltd., 471 F.3d 1293 (Fed. Cir. 2006).

See also patent infringement

 

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