Federal Circuit Raises the Bar on the Defense of Inequitable Conduct, Deborah A. Coleman, Esq.

The defense of inequitable conduct challenges the integrity of the patent prosecution and the ethics of the lawyers and representatives involved in the prosecution. That accused infringers have been able to plead inequitable conduct routinely, as part of a battery of defenses, has been troubling to patent prosecutors and burdensome to their clients; however, the Federal Circuits recent decision in Exergen Corp. v. WalMart Stores, Inc. addresses this concern by raising the pleading requirements for this defense.

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