Seventh Circuit Review


In a case of first impression, the Seventh Circuit incorrectly held that a settlement agreement for patent infringement may never be considered a license. In Waterloo Furniture Components Ltd. v. Haworth, Inc., the court mischaracterizes the nature of license agreements and their relationship to the rights of patent holders. It does so by drawing a potential false dichotomy between settlements and licensing agreements. In this holding, the court misunderstands the purpose of a license agreement, its legal effects, and its dual prospective and retrospective qualities as recognized by the Federal Circuit and other appellate courts.

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