In The News

High Court Backs Thermo Fisher on Patent Infringement Overseas

Bloomberg BNA

22 Feb 2017

In this Bloomberg BNA article, “High Court Backs Thermo Fisher on Patent Infringement Overseas”, Mark L. Whitaker, partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property Group bringing to client matters more than 24 years of experience crafting litigation strategies before the U.S. district courts, the International Trade Commission, and the Court of Federal Claims, is quoted.

The U.S. Supreme Court put new limits on accusations that a U.S. company has infringed a patent overseas, by ruling that Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.’s Life Technologies unit doesn't owe damages for supplying one component of a patented invention that was put together in the U.K. (Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp., U.S., No. 14-1538, 2/22/17).

The Patent Act allows a patent owner to sue a U.S. entity for infringement when a product is assembled overseas, if the U.S. company supplies some of the components. The high court's unanimous reversal of a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit held that LifeTech would have had to export at least two of the product's components to be liable.

The decision is particularly valuable to companies that take advantage of international supply chains. “This ruling curbs the extraterritorial reach of U.S. patent law and provides increased certainty for U.S. producers,” IP and patent litigator Mark Whitaker of Morrison & Foerster said.

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