Divided Infringement and the Doctor-Patient Relationship

IP Theory (Forthcoming)

12 Pages Posted: 9 May 2016

See all articles by Rachel Sachs

Rachel Sachs

Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law

Date Written: May 9, 2016


With its recent en banc decision in Akamai v. Limelight, the Federal Circuit has displayed its willingness to expand the scope of divided infringement liability for method claims under 35 U.S.C. ยง 271. Most of the cases to have considered the question of divided infringement thus far, including Akamai, have involved method patents relating to business methods or software. As such, it is unclear whether the courts will apply an identical analysis in the life sciences context. Specifically, there are important differences between the corporation-consumer relationship implicated in cases like Akamai and the doctor-patient relationship implicated in cases involving diagnostic method claims or method-of-treatment claims. This Essay will consider the role of the doctor-patient relationship within the divided infringement paradigm, considering the ways in which the courts both are likely to handle it doctrinally and should handle it as a more theoretical matter.

Keywords: Patent Law, Bioethics

Suggested Citation

Sachs, Rachel, Divided Infringement and the Doctor-Patient Relationship (May 9, 2016). IP Theory (Forthcoming). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2777639

Rachel Sachs (Contact Author)

Washington University in Saint Louis - School of Law ( email )

Campus Box 1120
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

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