Inducing Infringement Law and Legal Definition

Inducing infringement refers to the act of actively and knowingly aiding and abetting direct infringement by another person. The term inducing infringement is occasionally used in copyright and trademark law to mean contributory infringement. In Aluminum Extrusion Co. v. Soule Steel Co., 260 F. Supp. 221 (C.D. Cal. 1966), it was held that just as there can be no liability for contributory infringement unless there is an infringement, it would seem clear that there can be no liability for inducing infringement unless the act induced is an infringement.

Inducing infringement requires proof of some affirmative act that causes, urges, encourages, or aids another to infringe. Inducement cannot be premised on an omission or oversight by a defendant. In addition to an affirmative act, a plaintiff alleging inducement must prove that a defendant had specific intent to infringe on the patent. Specific intent in the area of inducing infringement requires that a defendant know that it is inducing activity that infringes on a patent.