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Historically, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in a patent case once every blue moon. Now, things are different. The Roberts Court has taken a keen interest in patent cases and recently granted cert in three, choosing to address (and perhaps change) long-standing principles adopted by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The issues presented include a challenge to (1) the circumstance under which (or whether) individual inventors or contractors retain patent rights to federally funded inventions; (2) the “state of mind” element required to establish indirect infringement, and specifically active inducement; and (3) the clear and convincing standard of proof required to invalidate patents. This article addresses all three cases being briefed on appeal.

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