Licensee Estoppel: Practical Considerations

Law360, New York (April 11, 2014, 12:24 PM EDT) -- Are contractual agreements by patent licensees not to challenge the validity of a licensed patent enforceable? Despite the regularity with which patentees confront this question, the answer is surprisingly unclear. In the 1950 Hazeltine case, the U.S. Supreme Court announced the “general rule” known as licensee estoppel, which provides “that the licensee under a patent license agreement may not challenge the validity of the licensed patent in a suit for royalties due under the contract.”[1]

Nearly 20 years later, the Supreme Court overruled Hazeltine in Lear...
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