Bloomberg Law
Sept. 20, 2021, 9:00 AM

Effect of Contracts on Patent Reviews Ripe for Fed. Cir. Guidance

Perry Cooper
Perry Cooper
Legal Reporter

Patent owners are looking to past agreements they signed with the companies they are accusing of infringement to head off challenges at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The agency has declined to enforce forum selection clauses in the agreements when accused infringers challenge patents there, saying it doesn’t have jurisdiction to resolve contract disputes. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has touched on whether that’s appropriate in a handful of cases, but the rulings are fact-specific and aren’t all binding.

Attorneys are looking to the court to clarify whether the patent office must enforce private contracts ...

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