For a variety of reasons, it is typical or commonplace of companies whose products involve cutting-edge technology to execute company-to-company patent cross-licenses. However, more recently, companies have become more reluctant to engage in such agreements at least partially due to decisions such as Quanta v. LGE and Transcore v. Electronic Transaction Consultants. While company-to-company agreements involving patents may, in general, be beneficial for both parties, a reasonable amount of uncertainty regarding the scope of patent exhaustion. This may be an issue for a number of reasons, including the desire to not license one's competitors. Because such cross-licensing typically reduces litigation between companies, a situation in which that is discouraged is probably less desirable.
August 16, 2010
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