June 18, 2004

Patent Infringement INDUCEment No Excuse for INDUCE Act?

[Not an echoing of newsreports! Uncommon information!]
One justification which has been made for the newly proposed inducement-to-infringe copywrong, the (INDUCE Act), is that patent law already has an inducement provision (so, implicitly, what's the problem?). Besides the obvious difference between patent law and copyright law, it seems the patent law inducement to infringe offense may not be such a good recommendation.

I found an interesting article, in "Intellectual Property Today", MARCH, 2004, by Richard Roos :


As most people know, it is a criminal offense to aid and abet the commission of a crime, the logic being that if one participates in furtherance of a crime, one is as much a criminal in the eyes of the law as whoever perpetrated the offense. However, not all companies realize that somewhat analogous scenarios exist in the patent world due to the laws of contributory infringement and inducement to infringe.

That article describes a set of pitfalls and uncertainties with patent law inducement to infringe.

Does it sound like an improvement to take this "uncertain law", expand it, and apply it widely in a fast-changing context? Am I a radical for thinking this is not a good idea?

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight , legal | on June 18, 2004 10:49 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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If the INDUCE Act were as limited in scope as the patent inducement liability law, it would be bad, but not THAT bad and probably not unconstitutional. But as it sits, this is WAY broader than the patent provision (which is uncertain in itself, as you note).

More in my blog post here.

Posted by: Joe Gratz at June 19, 2004 11:33 AM