Forum Selection Clause Held Inapplicable for Precluding Inter Partes Review Before the Patent and Trial Appeal Board

Confidentiality agreements or nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) are generally one of the first documents that in-house counsel require teams to execute when exploring licensing and/or research opportunities with third parties. NDAs are meant to protect the confidential information of one or both parties while each party determines whether the collaboration is worth pursuing. However, in a recent case in the Southern District of New York, one party tried to invoke a forum selection clause of an NDA to prevent the other party from challenging patents using inter partes review at the USPTO’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board.

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