This Note proposes that the party who performs the last step of a patented process should be liable for direct infringement. Under this “Last Step Rule,” patented products and processes would be treated similarly—which is consistent with past decisions and is implied in the patent statute. As will be shown in this Note, adopting the Last Step Rule would make finding indirect patent infringement more straightforward and would limit the doctrine of joint infringement to claims for direct infringement. The proposed rule will be shown to be logically sound, supported by case law precedent, and consistent with the language and framework of the patent infringement statute.
Note, A Last Step Rule for Direct Infringement of Process Claims: Clarifying Indirect Infringement and Narrowing Joint Infringement, 61 Clev. St. L. Rev. 827