Assignor Estoppel Case Could Fuel More Patent Attacks

Law360 (January 12, 2021, 10:50 PM EST) -- A case recently taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court has the potential to create more opportunities for accused infringers to try to invalidate patents in court by allowing attacks in the relatively unusual situation where the challenger is the patent's inventor, attorneys say.

A doctrine known as assignor estoppel currently bars inventors who sell or assign their patent rights to others, or entities that have a relationship with the inventors, from challenging the patent's validity in district court, but the justices on Friday took up a case calling for the abolition of that rule.

With decisions on patent eligibility and...

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