Feature

Rare Listerine Royalty Auction Tied To 1881 Contract Flub

Law360 (July 21, 2020, 3:12 PM EDT) -- In a law school case study come to life, the winning bidder in a recent auction will collect thousands of dollars in royalties on Listerine mouthwash each year for as long as the top-selling brand is sold, thanks to the inelegant drafting of a 19th-century trade secrets contract.

With a bid of $561,000 on July 14, an anonymous investor claimed a tiny slice of the lucrative royalty rights to the Johnson & Johnson-owned brand — which generated $32,000 for the previous owner last year — in an unusual auction run by the Royalty Exchange.

The company primarily deals in music royalties,...

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