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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COMMINGLED INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY–LIKE PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY?

By Jennifer A. Kearns, John M. Neclerio and Vicki G. Norton

Who doesn’t like the favorite sandwich of childhood – peanut butter and jelly? The two substances blend and meld together, creating a delectable gooey, messy, sticky and sweet treat.

In the life sciences, commingled intellectual property can also create “gooey,” messy and sticky problems for companies. Unfortunately, there’s nothing sweet about commingled IP and the complications that can arise from it, and you can be sure that an experience arising from claims of commingled IP will leave a sour taste in your mouth.  Here we discuss proactive or preventative steps that companies can take to reduce the risk of commingling IP.

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