Commil USA, LLC v, Cisco Systems, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: U.S. Supreme Court Certiorari Granted
  • Area(s) of Law: Patents
  • Date Filed: May 26, 2015
  • Case #: 13–896
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: KENNEDY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which GINSBURG, ALITO, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined, and in which THOMAS, J., joined as to Parts II–B and III. SCALIA, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., joined. BREYER, J., took no part in the consideration or decision of the case.
  • Full Text Opinion

A good-faith belief as to the validity of a patent cannot be raised as a defense to an induced patent infringement claim.

Petitioner holds a patent for short-range Wi-Fi networks, such as those used on college campuses, where devices connect to a series of base stations. Petitioner brought suit for patent infringement and inducement of infringement. Prior to trial, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office reexamined the patent and found it to be valid. At trial, the district court did not allow Respondent to present evidence that Respondent had a good-faith belief that Petitioner's patent was invalid. The Court held that the validity of the patent is a separate issue and cannot be raised as a defense to induced infringement. If a patent is not valid then there can be no infringement liability, but a belief regarding validity cannot be used to determine whether infringement occured.

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