In a drastic reversal, the Supreme Court in Life Tech. v. Promega Corp. decided to limit the scope of infringement under 35 U.S.C. 271(f)(1). 271(f)(1) provides for infringement for exporting "all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention". The Court ruled that the "supply of a single component of a multicomponent invention for manufacture abroad does not give rise to 271(f)(1) liability".
In a 6-2 decision handed down in Commil v. Cisco, the Supreme Court has held that a defendant's good faith belief that a patent is invalid does not serve as a defense to charges of inducing infringement of that patent, overturning the previous U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) decision.
The Supreme Court today ruled unanimously that the burden of proving patent infringement rests with the patent holder, even in cases where the parties had agreed upon a licensing deal in the past. The case at issue, Medtronic, Inc. v. Mirowski Family Ventures, involved implantable heart stimulation devices (pacemakers) which were licensed by Mirowski to Medtronic in 1991. In late 2007, Medtronic filed an action with the U.S. District Court of Delaware seeking declaratory relief that its new line of devices did not infringe upon the Mirowski patents. The trial court entered a judgment of non-infringement in Medtronic's favor, which was reversed in 2012 by the Federal Circuit, based on a holding that the trial court did not properly allocate the burden of proof in the initial proceedings.