We’ve blogged about intellectual property translation and legal translation and court interpreting services in the context of U.S. International Trade Commission, as well as about patent translation and legal translation services for patent protection . The U.S. Supreme Court recently held that under section 271(b) of the Patent Act, an individual can be held liable for inducing the infringement of a patent (causing another person to directly infringe a patent). However, the statute is unclear about what conduct or intent is required to constitute inducing infringement.
In defining the statutory language, the Court explained: “the phrase ‘induces infringement’ could merely require that the inducer lead another to engage in conduct that happens to amount to infringement, or the inducer must persuade another to engage in conduct that the inducer knows is an infringement.”
In its ruling, the Court held that “induced infringement under § 271(b) requires knowledge that the induced acts constitute patent infringement.” And that “a deliberate indifference to a known risk that a patent exists is not the appropriate standard under § 271(b).”
This decision is interesting in that it raises questions about what constitutes inducement when the information, patent or other related material is in a foreign language. Does the individual, knowing that the person involved does not speak English, for example, have a duty to provide a foreign language translation of the information in order to provide proper knowledge and avoid being held to have induced an infringement?