Case Study: Rates Tech V. Speakeasy

Law360, New York (July 19, 2012, 1:10 PM EDT) -- On July 10, 2012, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously held that patent licensing agreements reached before litigation cannot be used to bar a licensee from later challenging the validity of a patent, even if the deal is styled as a legal settlement or covenant not to sue. The Second Circuit ruling clarified a well-known 1969 United States Supreme Court case, Lear v. Adkins, and rejected a proposed limitation on its scope.

In Lear v. Adkins, the Supreme Court held that a patent licensing agreement...
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