inducement of infringement

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Any person who actively induces infringement of a patent is liable as an infringer (see 35 U.S.C. § 271(b). Inducement of infringement refers to a situation where a person encourages or facilitates another person to directly infringe on a patent. This form of secondary liability for patent infringement is prohibited under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b).

To establish liability for inducement of infringement, it is necessary to prove that the accused person knew of the patent in question and that their actions would lead to infringement. Circumstantial evidence of intent can be sufficient to establish liability. For example, in the case of DSU Med. Corp. v. JMS Co., Ltd., the Federal Circuit held that evidence of a defendant's knowledge of the patent, as well as their actions in promoting the infringing product, were sufficient to establish intent to induce infringement.

[Last updated in March of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team