The supply from the United States of a single component of an invention, for assembly of the invention abroad, is not patent infringement under Section 271(f)(1) of the Patent Act. This is according to a unanimous ruling yesterday by the United States Supreme Court.
The court found significant limitations on the reach of Section 271(f)(1), a law that states that it is an act of patent infringement to supply from the United States, “all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention,” to induce the combination of such components abroad. In reaching its decision, the court analyzed the phrase, “substantial portion,” in the law, and concluded that the phrase refers to the the number of components exported, not the relative importance of the exported components to the invention as a whole. Continue Reading