Supreme Court grants cert on Commil v. Cisco in inducement of infringement case
The question is whether an accused company [here Cisco, accused of inducing infringement] can defend itself by arguing it had a good-faith belief the disputed patent was invalid because the invention was obvious, vague or insufficiently novel.
The CAFC had stated as to inducement of infringement:
It is axiomatic that one cannot infringe an invalid patent.  Accordingly, one could be aware of a patent and induce another to perform the steps of the patent claim, but have a good-faith belief that the patent is not valid. Under those circumstances, it can hardly be said that the alleged inducer intended to induce infringement. Thus, a good-faith belief of invalidity is evidence that may negate the specific intent to encourage another’s infringement, which is required for induced infringement. Several district courts have considered this question and come to the same conclusion.
We now hold that evidence of an accused inducer’s good-faith belief of invalidity may negate the requisite intent for induced infringement.