Contributory Infringement Law and Legal Definition

Contributory infringement is the participation in, or contribution to, the infringing acts of another person. Contributory infringers are vicariously liable for their actions. Considering patent laws, contributory infringement is said to have committed when a person sells or offers to sell separately a material component of a patented invention, having the knowledge of its patent rights. In copyright, contributory negligence amounts to the act of inducing another person to commit infringement of copyright. If a manufacturer or distributor knowingly supplies goods bearing an infringing mark for resale, it amounts to contributory infringement.