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Inapplicability Of 35 U.S.C. §271(f) To Method Patent Claims
Posted in Litigation, Patents

On August 19, 2009, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held in Cardiac Pacemakers Inc. v. St. Jude Medical Inc. (Nos. 07-1296 and 07-1347) that 35 U.S.C. §271(f), which concerns enforcement of patent rights against components originating in the U.S. and combined into the potentially infringing product outside the U.S., does not apply to method claims. Thus, U.S. patent applicants should carefully consider claim drafting strategies for method-base inventions to most effectively encompass infringing activity that may not occur entirely within the U.S. Businesses should also be cognizant of current and future business activities that may fall under §271(f) but may nevertheless be non-directly infringing of competitors’ method patent claims.

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