Inequitable Conduct Lives: Patent Practitioners Beware
Inequitable conduct is practically the stuff of ghost stories among patent practitioners. You must satisfy your duty of candor to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) or the patent – all the claims – will be worthless. Since Therasense, Inc. v. Becton, Dickinson & Co., 649 F.3d 1276 (Fed. Cir. 2011) (en banc) ushered in the “but-for” materiality standard, some patent practitioners may have become too complacent and willing to take a chance. Who will find out? A recent decision in Deep Fix, LLC v. Marine Well Containment Co. LLC (S.D.Tx. Feb. 18, 2020) may have patent prosecutors reviewing their files and even filing a request for supplemental examination or two.