The Road to Hell was Paved with A Good Faith Belief: Why the Supreme Court Correctly Rejected the Good Faith Belief in the Invalidity of a Patent Defense for Dangerously Narrowing Induced Infringement Liability

– Sidney C. Eberhart

Multiple areas of law require a specific knowledge standard and grapple with the notion of good faith. This includes an induced infringement claim where a patent owner asserts that the opposing party has facilitated or otherwise indirectly encouraged third parties to infringe upon the patent owner’s right. Induced infringement claims provide a means for patent holders to assert their rights and collect damages when they otherwise could not, such as when going after every third party purchaser would be unreasonable. In Commil USA LLC v. Cisco Systems, Inc. (Commil II), 135 S. Ct. 1920, 1920 (2015) the Supreme Court rejected a new affirmative defense against induced infringement claims based on the defendant’s good faith belief in the patent’s invalidity. The Court held that this good faith belief defense could potentially narrow the scope of liability, and allow inducers to escape liability all together. This Note argues that the Supreme Court correctly rejected the Federal Circuit’s holding by denying the creation of a new affirmative defense for induced infringement claims.

Abstract Written by Clint Alain Guillebeau, 2018