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Commercial Law Litigation

Federal Circuit Applies a Reasonableness Standard to the Knowledge of Infringement Prong

The Federal Circuit decision in Medtronic highlights the tension faced by alleged patent infringers, who must balance invalidity issues where a broad construction is desirable, against non-infringement issues, where narrow constructions are desired.

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On vacatur and remand from the Supreme Court in light of Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (2015), the Federal Circuit reaffirmed that defendant Medtronic Sofamor Danek USA, Inc. (MSD) induced infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7,470,236 (“the ’236 Patent”) to NuVasive, Inc., because its belief of non-infringement was unreasonable. The decision highlights the tension faced by alleged infringers, who must balance invalidity issues where a broad construction is desirable, against non-infringement issues, where narrow constructions are desired.

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