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« Commerce Secretary Provides Administration's Views on America Invents Act | Main | BIO and PhRMA Commend Commerce Secretary for Resisting Proposed Changes to Global Patent System »

May 31, 2011

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Comments

Kevin,

Even when SCOTUS affirms the Federal Circuit, they still can't leave well enough alone. The Federal Circuit didn't choose "deliberate indifference" as the standard for 271(c) out of thin air, but based on both SCOTUS and other federal court precedence. Even SCOTUS admitted that what Congress intended "specific intent" in 271(c) to mean is ambiguous. My cynical view is that SCOTUS chose a different standard ("willful blindness") because they simply aren't going to accept the Federal Circuit's view, even though Congress clearly indicated by creating the Federal Circuit in 1982 that the Federal Circuit was to be the primary arbiter of patent law jurisprudence. Frankly, I find the difference between "willful blindness" (which comes from the criminal context mind you) and "deliberate indifference" a bunch of meaningless semantics. This decision reaffirms my dim view of SCOTUS, especially when it comes to patent law.

The Court's ruling makes sense because of a very important point: Pentalpha did not tell its attorney that it had purchased and directly, deliberately copied the SEB fryer. If Pentalpha had informed its lawyer as to this fact, then the attorney likely would have found the patent. Because of this deliberate failure to inform the attorney of its copying, the prior art search was just a cover, and "willful blindness" makes complete sense. That considered, I'm glad this patent litigation was decided in favor of SEB.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OfoURsNBl8&feature=related

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