July 3, 2014

Supreme Court Makes it Tougher to Defend Method Patents

In a unanimous decision last month the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that in order for an infringement suit defending a method patent to succeed, every step in the method must be infringed by the same party or parties under its direct control.

As a result of the ruling, those who seek a process patent protection will have to be much more careful to describe processes where there are no separately executable steps that don’t depend on the flow of the process. Any such step can be left to others to carry out so long as the alleged infringing party doesn’t control that step, and the process patent can be negated.

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