Frustrating the ability to transfer ownership is costly, and non-creative entities (NCEs) may contribute to rising costs of innovation by contractually requiring their licensees to seek NCE consent to subsequent license transfers. One possible way of gradually limiting the reach of NCEs in this area is to expand the doctrine of patent misuse—which supports the unenforceability defense to patent infringement—to construe restraints on alienation of patent licenses as patent misuse. This narrowly tailored approach, discussed in this Note, minimizes the risk of negative impact on the patent system because it avoids the question of patent invalidity and does not seek to alter the ability of NCEs to procure patents.
Anna A. Onley,
Limiting Downstream Effects of Patent Licensing Activity in Software and Electronics: An Argument for Alienability of Patent Licenses to Licensees' Business Successors,
Chi.-Kent L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/cklawreview/vol91/iss1/14