December 5, 2016

“Promega IP Case May Portend More Liability For Exporting Cos.,” Law360, December 5, 2016

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday in a patent dispute between Life Technologies Corp. and Promega Corp., a case that will decide the level of potential infringement exposure companies face when exporting components of a patented invention and could allow patent owners to collect greater damages, experts say.

“I have to imagine, for instance, that Apple … is keeping an eagle eye on this case, or perhaps Ford Motor Co., somebody like that, that does manufacture parts in one jurisdiction and assembles them in another jurisdiction,” said Gregory DeLassus of Harness, Dickey & Pierce, PLC.

Perhaps also working to Life Tech’s benefit is a general legal presumption that the applicability of American patent law outside the U.S. is limited. If the case is close, that could tip the scales in favor of reversing the Federal Circuit, DeLassus said.

“That would be my baseline assumption, that [the Supreme Court] probably will want to read this narrowly and thus go against the broader interpretation that the Federal Circuit is inclined to give it,” he said.

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