Boston Globe: Ruling in patent case is a victory for innovation

Ron Cahill, a partner specializing in intellectual property law at Boston law firm Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP, writes about a recent Supreme Court decision in the case of Festo Corp. v. Shoketsu Kinzoku Kogyo Kabushiki Co.

In seeking to balance fairness to inventors with clarity in patent scope, the Supreme Court in this case upheld a rule of law known as the doctrine of equivalents. This doctrine allows patent rights to extend beyond the exact claims defined in a patent to cover slightly modified devices that perform the same function in the same manner. The court recognized that reliance on a strict literal interpretation would greatly diminish the value of patent rights, thereby not fulfilling their constitutional purpose of promoting “the progress of science and useful arts.”

The IEEE, which has a resource page on the issues in the case, was pleased with the decision. The full text of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision is available online.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.