The defendant, IBG, contended that the plaintiff, Trading Technologies (“TT”) committed patent misuse (rendering its patents unenforceable) when it tied licenses to its U.S. patents to sales of products in foreign jurisdictions where IBG did not hold any patents. TT moved for summary judgment on the patent misuse defense.
As explained by the district court, between 2004 and 2018, TT and various third parties entered into thirty-five license and/or settlement agreements with respect to the four patents-in-suit. At least seven of these agreements include language explaining that the license granted is “worldwide and is based on worldwide usage of [the competitor’s licensed products], as opposed to only usage in countries in which there is patent protection.” The license agreements also included the following or nearly identical language: “WHEREAS, TT is willing to grant the discounted license granted herein for administrative convenience because the license is worldwide and requires payments of royalties for use of Licensed Products . . . anywhere in the world as opposed to royalties based only on the usage of Licensed Products in countries in which there is patent protection.” Continue reading