Supreme Court Says That Licensing A Patent Doesn't Mean You Agree It's Valid
from the go-Supreme-Court-go dept
The Supreme Court has continued its ongoing effort to reshape patent law after the Federal Circuit Appeals Court had basically spent two decades twisting the state of patent law into the horrible mess it is today. The latest ruling is in the MedImmune/Genentech case looking at whether or not licensing a patent means you can't challenge its validity. Genentech (and plenty of other patent holders) claimed that once you licensed a patent, you were basically saying that you agreed to its validity, and could no longer challenge it. The lower court agreed. This is problematic in a lot of ways, especially with the rise in patent extortion lawsuits, where it's often cheaper to just license the patent rather than fight it. MedImmune licensed the patent early on, rather than waste money fighting it, but challenged it later on when the patent in question became much more important (and the license much more expensive). With an 8 to 1 decision, the Supreme Court sided with MedImmune, saying that licensing a patent shouldn't preclude challenging that patent's validity. Another small step in the right direction. Meanwhile, folks at MedImmune headquarters are having a good day. Not only did they win their Supreme Court case, but they received FDA approval for a new flu drug as well.