• patent

    Don’t Be Too Agreeable

    by  • August 19, 2019 • patent • 1 Comment

    Plaintiff Tegu is a toy company. It hired defendant Vestal Design Atelier LLC to develop its first toy line. Vestal created prototypes for Tegu for blocks with embedded magnets. These are the relevant provisions on ownership of the intellectual property rights in the agreement: 2.0 Ownership of Intellectual Property. 1. Ownership. Intellectual property rights...

    Read more →

    When There Are No Rights to Assign

    by  • August 5, 2019 • patent • 2 Comments

    You’ve all seen this language before. This is from an agreement to transfer rights to a formula for nutritional products in exchange for royalties: If you can’t read the image, it says In consideration of the sum of $1.00 payable by Synergy to HealthBanc upon execution of this Agreement, HealthBanc hereby transfers and assigns...

    Read more →

    Licenses and the After-Acquired Affiliate

    by  • July 1, 2019 • patent • 0 Comments

    Licenses and releases for after-acquired affiliates can be tricky things to draft. Are after-acquired affiliates also licensed to the rights? Are they licensed on a forward-going basis only, or does the license or release cure earlier infringement? It all depends on how you write it. On November 24, 2016, plaintiff Oyster Optics, LLC sued...

    Read more →

    Patent Infringement Versus Breach of Contract

    by  • April 29, 2019 • patent • 1 Comment

    Something that license drafters need to think through is how a license grant works, as a permission, not a prohibition. If there is conduct that a licensor wants to prohibit, then it has to ensure that it addresses that need in the agreement. The licensor also needs to think through what remedies will be...

    Read more →

    Removing the Veil

    by  • September 10, 2018 • patent • 0 Comments

    We’re all familiar with the concept of “piercing the corporate veil.” As a general rule, the owner of a legal entity, like the parent of a subsidiary, or the shareholder of a company, is legally insulated from the wrongdoing of the owned company. In some cases though, where the owner and the company haven’t...

    Read more →

    Were the Patent Rights Assigned?

    by  • May 4, 2018 • patent • 2 Comments

    Defendant J2 Cloud Services (JFAX) hired plaintiff Greg James to write some software. Unbeknownst to James, JFAX filed a patent on the software. Many years later, James sued JFAX for correction of inventorship. JFAX argued that James didn’t have standing for correction of inventorship because he had assigned his patent rights to JFAX. The...

    Read more →

    Battle Lines Drawn

    by  • January 22, 2018 • patent • 0 Comments

    I previously reported on a case involving a missing patent assignment from an employee. The missing document didn’t prevent the Patent Office from issuing the patent though; the successor to the rights of the other co-inventors submitted the inventor’s employment agreement to the Patent Office and it thereafter issued the patent. However, the district...

    Read more →

    The Devil Is In the Definitions

    by  • November 6, 2017 • patent • 0 Comments

    Plaintiff Janssen Biotech had a fundamental structural problem with an agreement. The document was called an “Employee Secrecy Agreement,” but in addition to imposing duties of confidentiality on its employees the agreement also served as an employee invention assignment agreement, as is commonly, if not universally, done. Janssen’s structural problem was in the definition...

    Read more →