A divided panel of the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, reversed the Court’s prior precedent on the law of inducing infringement by multiple parties and held that liability for inducing infringement of a method claim under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b) requires that “all the steps of a claimed method must be performed . . . but that it is not necessary to prove that all the steps were committed by a single entity.” (Akamai Techs., Inc. v. Limelight Networks, Inc., Case Nos. 2009-1372, -1380, -1416, -1417, Slip. Op. at 10 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 31, 2012) (reported at 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18532) (emphasis added)). The decision expressly overturns BMC Resources, Inc. v. Paymentech, L.P., 498 F.3d 1373 (Fed. Cir. 2007), which established the previous and well-known rule that a single party must commit or control or direct others to commit the entire act of direct infringement in order for liability for inducing infringement to apply.
The Opinion explains that the Court’s conclusion in BMC was predicated on Federal Circuit precedent that “(1) liability for induced infringement requires proof of direct infringement and (2) liability for direct infringement requires that a single party commit all the acts necessary to constitute infringement.” (Slip. Op. at 15-16). According to the majority part (2) of the test warranted reconsideration because there is no apparent reason to distinguish between a party who induces infringement by a single actor and a party who induces multiple actors to variously perform patented method steps. In either case the inducement “has had precisely the same impact on the patentee,” and under the law of BMC “the patentee has no remedy [against multiple actors], even though the patentee’s rights are plainly being violated by [multiple] actors’ joint conduct.” (Slip Op. 16, 10).
Accordingly, the Opinion holds that for liability to arise under 35 U.S.C. § 271(b), a party asserting induced infringement need only show that (1) the alleged inducer knew of the patent at issue, (2) the alleged inducer induced performance of a patent claim, and (3) all the steps of the claim were in fact performed. (Slip. Op. 35-36).
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 Reversing and remanding Akamai Tech. v. Limelight Networks, 629 F.3d 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2010), and McKesson Tech. v. Epic Systems, No. 2010-1291, 2011 WL 1365548 (Fed. Cir. April 12, 2011); Per Curiam (J. RADER, LOURIE, BRYSON, MOORE, REYNA, WALLACH); Dissent (NEWMAN); Dissent (LINN, DYK, PROST, O’MALLEY)  The majority expressly declined consideration of whether single actor is required in order to prove direct infringement of a method claim under 35 U.S.C. § 271(a).