The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in Life Techs. Corp. v. Promega Corp., 14-1538, to resolve: “[w]hether a supplier can be held liable for providing ‘all or a substantial portion of the components of a patented invention’ from the United States when the supplier ships for combination abroad only a single commodity component of a multi-component invention” under 35 U.S.C. § 271(f)(1).
Life Technologies (“LifeTech”) manufactures genetic testing kits containing: (1) a primer mix; (2) Taq polymerase; (3) PCR reaction mix including neucleotides; (4) a buffer solution; and (5) control DNA. Promega Corp. v. Life Techs. Corp., 773 F.3d 1338, 1344 (Fed. Cir. 2014). Promega licensed a patent on technology for replicating DNA which it then licensed to LifeTech for “Forensics and Human Identity Applications.” Id. In addition to “Forensics and Human Identity Applications,” LifeTech also sold kits for unlicensed purposes worldwide. Id. Notably, LifeTech manufactures Taq polymerase in the United States, which it then ships to another manufacturing plant in the UK, which manufactures the remaining kit components and assembles the kits. Id. Promega sued LifeTech in 2010 alleging infringement including those worldwide sales containing only one component from the U.S. (Taq). Id.