Public Does Not Have Broad Right to Review Patent License Terms

Patent licenses and third-party licensing information can remain sealed and confidential, unless particularized findings can justify their disclosure

Patentees who bring infringement suits do not automatically lose their ability to keep terms for licensing their patents confidential, the Federal Circuit has ruled. The majority of the panel, Judges Lourie and Cunningham, stated that “no rule of law or binding precedent says that the public is generally entitled to know what consideration a patentee receives for licensing its patent” and that it had not seen citation of a rule of law providing “a presumption of access in a patent infringement suit to information concerning consideration for the licensing of a patent.” Judge Mayer, dissenting, felt that the materials at issue should have been made public.