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Home / Opinion / 10-6 Global-Tech Appliances, Inc., v. SEB S.A.

10-6 Global-Tech Appliances, Inc., v. SEB S.A.

Intellectual Property
Patents; induced infringement

Induced infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(b) requires knowledge that the induced acts constitute patent infringement.

Induced infringement was not considered a separate theory of indirect liability in the pre-1952 case law, but was treated as evidence of “contributory infringement,” i.e., the aiding and abetting of direct infringement by another party. When Congress enacted §271,it separated the contributory infringement concept into two categories: induced infringement, covered by §271(b), and sale of a component of a patented invention, covered by §271(c). In the badly fractured Aro II decision, a majority concluded that a violator of §271(c) must know “that the combination for which his component was especially designed was both patented and infringing.” 377 U. S., at 488. That conclusion, now a fixture in the law, compels this same knowledge for liability under §271(b), given that the two provisions have a common origin and create the same difficult interpretive choice.

594 F. 3d 1360, affirmed.

10-6 Global-Tech Appliances, Inc., v. SEB S.A.

Alito, J.; Kennedy, J., dissenting.

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