The Recent Expansion of Extraterritoriality in Patent Infringement Cases

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The rapid pace of globalization has intensified the desire to expand the territorial reach of United States law to determine patent infringement. In an unprecedented move, the Federal Circuit, in AT&T v. Microsoft Corp., held that copying in a foreign country software made in the United States infringed United States patents under United States law. This decision holds a defendant liable for activity occurring entirely outside of the United States. Perhaps, this case reflects aspects unique to the technological nature of software. If so, this decision violates the fundamental principle that all forms of invention are to receive the same treatment under the patent laws without discrimination.

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