Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp.: Supreme Court Holds That Infringement Under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1) Requires Providing More Than One Component of an Invention

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - February 23, 2017

The patent statute, 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1), prohibits the supply from the United States of “all or a substantial portion” of the components of a patented invention for combination abroad.  The Supreme Court held unanimously yesterday in Life Technologies Corp. v. Promega Corp. that a party that supplies only a single component of a multicomponent invention for assembly abroad cannot be held liable for infringement under Section 271(f)(1).  The decision sets out a bright-line test that rules out infringement in one situation, but creates substantial uncertainty regarding other circumstances in which the statute may be applied.