Next event: Supreme Court hearing to be scheduled.
Summary: The Court just agreed to hear this case on Jan. 10. This case could have a big impact on patents for Internet inventions. The basic issue involves what’s called “divided infringement.” Divided infringement occurs if all the steps of a patented method are performed, but they’re split up among different parties. The Federal Circuit has held that those parties aren’t liable for patent infringement, unless they’re very closely connected.
That’s potentially a big hole in the Internet world, if all you have to do to avoid infringing is break up the steps.
In the case being appealed, the Federal Circuit said that it’s possible to be liable for inducing infringement even if the parties wouldn’t be liable for infringing directly because the infringement is divided.