Bloomberg Law
June 29, 2021, 2:07 PMUpdated: June 29, 2021, 8:27 PM

Justices Narrow Bar on Inventors Attacking Their Own Patents (2)

Perry Cooper
Perry Cooper
Legal Reporter

The U.S. Supreme Court limited a legal doctrine barring an inventor from challenging a patent on an invention assigned to another party.

Minerva Surgical Inc. asked the high court to abolish the doctrine of assignor estoppel, which blocks an inventor from selling his patent and later saying in court that what he sold was worthless. The court said it continues to see value in the century-old form of estoppel, but clarified its reach in a 5-4 decision.

“The doctrine applies when, but only when, the assignor’s claim of invalidity contradicts explicit or implicit representations he made in assigning the patent,” ...

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