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A set of recent patent infringement cases are primed to have major impacts and, some argue, inequitable effects on the current patent scheme in the United States. A problem has arisen concerning what kind of patent protection, or lack thereof, method and process patents should receive when certain steps of those methods or processes are implemented outside the U.S. Read literally, as the courts have, current law requires a method to have taken place in the U.S. for protection. But what results when a method or process patent is infringed partially in the U.S. and partially abroad? Should the patent receive protection by U.S. patent laws or has it not been infringed because the entire method has not been carried through in the U.S. from start to finish? Historically, U.S. patent laws have been construed to have a reach limited by U.S. boundaries. The basis for this rests on statutory grounds which would appear to clearly demarcate U.S. borders as the outer limits of U.S. patent rights. The Supreme Court has in turn refused to give extraterritorial effect to U.S. patents. In the recent past, however, the traditional interpretations of U.S. patent laws have been slighted in favor of more far-reaching patent rights, giving patents extraterritorial effect and altering the landscape of patent law.


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7 Nov 2022
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  • Subject
    • Intellectual Property Law

    • International Law

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Intellectual Property and Technology Forum

  • Volume
    • 2008

  • Pagination
    • 1-15

  • Date submitted

    7 November 2022

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