Monday, April 11, 2011

Sale of Software Containing Disabled Infringing Functionality Is Not An Act of Direct Infringement

The court denied in part plaintiff's motion for summary judgment of infringement of its graphics cutting patents where defendant disabled, but did not remove, an infringing search function in its software but a user could change a program's configuration files to reenable that search function. "[T]he question is whether the claims read on a device that contains source code for searching, even if that code has been disabled. . . . Nothing in [plaintiff's] apparatus claims suggests that a device that contains disabled source code for searching is within the scope of the claims. The claims are not drafted in terms of software components but in terms of the actual function of the apparatus. . . . When the code for searching is disabled, the device does not perform [plaintiff's] methods, and thus sales of the device with the code for searching disabled is not direct infringement."

Mikkelsen Graphic Engineering Inc. v. Zund America Inc., et. al., 2-07-cv-00391 (WIED April 7, 2011, Order) (Adelman, J.)

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