26 May 2011
In a recent 6–1–4 decision, an en banc Federal Circuit decision raised the standards for inequitable conduct (Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson and Company (Fed. Cir. 2011)). Inequitable conduct is a defense to patent infringement that, if proven, bars enforcement of a patent. This judge-made doctrine requires an alleged infringer show that the patent applicant or holder misrepresented or omitted material information to the patent office, with the specific intent to deceive the patent office. If the infringer meets that burden, then a court can render the entire patent unenforceable.