On Friday, the Federal Circuit issued an opinion in Wi-LAN USA, Inc. v. Ericsson, Inc., which highlights the importance of using care when granting rights to or under patents. The interesting facts in this case resulted in two contradictory opinions from two district courts regarding the scope of an agreement pertaining to rights under certain patents. These opinions illustrate the potential dangers of unintended consequences that may arise from imprecise drafting in patent agreements.
Tagged: Patent Licensing
In a recent decision, the Second Circuit crowned Lear, Inc. v. Adkins, 395 U.S. 653 (1969), but a petition to the Supreme Court has the possibility of dethroning this ruling and Lear. In Lear, the Court held that a licensee could challenge the validity of patents despite an agreement to the contrary. Contract law, the Court noted, must yield to the public’s interest in ensuring monopolies do not go unchecked. Lear, Inc., 395 U.S. at 670-71. Since that decision, courts have taken varied approaches to Lear. See, e.g., Licensee Patent Validity Challenges Following MedImmune: Implications for Patent Licensing,. 3 HASTINGS SCI. & TECH. L.J. 243-439 (2011).