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A decision by the Supreme Court over the assignor estoppel doctrine could have far-reaching implications for patent law, argue Jeffrey D Morton, Zachary Schroeder and Ryan D Ricks of Snell & Wilmer.
On January 8, 2021, the US Supreme Court agreed to hear Minerva Surgical v Hologic to consider whether an inventor or those in privity with the inventor may assert patent invalidity as a defence against a patent infringement suit for the inventor’s patent.
The doctrine at issue is known as “assignor estoppel” and provides protection to assignees in patent transactions.
This article will discuss: (i) the Minerva litigation; (ii) the importance of the court’s decision to hear the case; (iii) a review of case law and doctrine that may influence the court’s decision; and (iv) how the court’s decision could impact patent law and related transactions.
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Minerva Surgical, Hologic, US Supreme Court, inventions, patent infringement, assignor estoppel, Federal Circuit, USPTO