The Changing Face of US Patent Law and its Impact on Business Strategy

The Changing Face of US Patent Law and its Impact on Business Strategy

New Horizons in International Business series

Edited by Daniel R. Cahoy and Lynda J. Oswald

Within the complex global economy, patents function as indispensable tools for fostering and protecting innovation. This fascinating volume offers a comprehensive perspective on the US patent system, detailing its many uses and outlining several critical legislative, administrative and judicial reforms that impact business strategy.

Chapter 4: Inequitable conduct after Therasense and the America Invents Act

T. Leigh Anenson and Gideon Mark

Subjects: business and management, international business


This chapter examines the dramatic constriction of the inequitable conduct defense to patent infringement accomplished in 2011 by the issuance of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (Federal Circuit) decision in Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co. and the enactment of the America Invents Act (AIA). The chapter questions whether Therasense and the AIA have unduly narrowed the inequitable conduct defense and thus undermined the core goals of patent law. Those core goals include the encouragement of innovation, full and early disclosure, and investment in research and development (Pfaffv. Wells Elecs., Inc., 1998). The chapter concludes that Therasense and specific features of the AIA, particularly its adoption of new post-issuance review proceedings and a new “best mode” amendment, will likely operate in tandem to sharply curtail the availability of the inequitable conduct defense and impair the operation of the US patent system.

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