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When Are Patent Claims Standard-Essential?

The question of whether claims from 23 different patents were “essential” to the IEEE 802.11 standard (popularly known as Wi-Fi) was presented to the court in In re Innovatio Ip Ventures, MDL Docket No. 2303, Case No. 11 C 9308 (N.D. Ill. July 26, 2013). In evaluating these claims, the court addressed a number of […]

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Pleading Implied License as an Affirmative Defense to Patent Infringement

An implied license is an affirmative defense to patent infringement. Because the defense is, by definition, highly fact-specific, it is not always clear what allegations are required to adequately plead the implied license defense. However, requirements for pleading the defense, e.g., under an estoppel theory, are not unduly onerous.  The court’s denial of a motion […]

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Broad Grant of Patent Rights Includes Reissues

The Federal Circuit has upheld Intel’s licensing defense where asserted reissue patents issued after the relevant license agreement was terminated.  Intel Corp v. Negotiated Data Solutions, No. 2011-1448 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 17, 2012). Intel and National Semiconductor entered into a broad patent cross-licensing agreement in 1976.  Under that agreement, National licensed to Intel patents including […]

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Patent Exhaustion Based on Foreign Sales

Sales outside the United States exhausted a patent owner’s rights in its U.S. patent, according to Multimedia Patent Trust v. Apple, Inc., No. 10-CV-2618-H (KSC), 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167479 (S.D. Cal. Nov. 9, 2012). Therefore, among rulings on summary judgment motions addressing a myriad of issues, the Court granted summary judgment to Canon on its […]

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Breach of Duty to Offer RAND Licensing Terms?

A lawsuit brought against a patent owner based on an alleged failure to offer a patent license on reasonable and nondiscriminatory (RAND) terms has largely survived the patent owner’s motion to dismiss.  Realtek Semiconductor Corp. v. LSI Corp., No. C-12-03451 RMW (N.D. Cal. Oct. 10, 2012). The defendants, who contended that the patents at issue […]

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2nd Cir. Applies Lear Doctrine to Pre-Lititgation Settlement Agreement

The Second Circuit has held that “a clause in a settlement agreement which bars a patent licensee from later challenging the patent’s validity is void for public policy reasons under the Supreme Court’s decision in Lear, Inc. v. Adkins.”  Rates Technology Inc. v. Speakeasy, Inc., No. 11-4462-cv (July 10, 2012). Rates Technology Inc. (“RTI”), owner […]

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No Personal Jurisdiction Based on “Location” of Patent

A patent owner’s residence in Washington state did not confer personal jurisdiction over defendants in a dispute over the defendants’ rights to license and sub-license the patent.  VSIM Patent Co., LLC v. Benson, No. C12-102RSL (W.D. Wash. 2012).  The action that the patent owner brought did, however, end up conferring a right to fees and […]

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Settlement Agreement Does Not Prevent Suit Against Microsoft Customers

There is a reason why parties negotiating settlement agreements in patent cases often devote considerable time and energy to negotiating language covering use of patented technology by the licensee’s customers and downstream users.  Despite, or perhaps because of, this attention, disputes sometimes arise.  Illustratively, Microsoft was recently denied summary judgment on its claim that Eolas […]

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Must an Offer to License Be Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory?

What does a patent owner have to do to meet a requirement of a standards setting organization (SSO) that license terms be reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND)?  Does the patent owner simply need to be willing to license on RAND terms, or does the patent owner have to include RAND terms in its initial offer?  In […]

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