by Robert Angle
Plaintiffs Porto Technology Co., Ltd.. and Porto
Technology, LLC (collectively, "Porto"), recently learned that their "Exclusive
Patent License Agreement" from the patent owner is NOT sufficient to give them
standing to pursue patent infringement claims against Cellco Partnership
d/b/a Verizon Wireless ("Verizon"). As Judge Henry E. Hudson found in Porto
Technology, Co., Ltd. v. Cellco Partnership, Civil Action No.
3:12cv678 (March 19, 2013 E.D. Va.) [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com
subscribers], the "Exclusive License" required Porto to obtain the
patent owner's consent before granting any sublicense and gave the patent owner
the right to direct Porto to grant a sublicense to any third party identified
by the patent owner. Further, the "Exclusive License" lacked any
provision giving Porto the exclusive right to bring suit to enforce the patent,
and was silent on Porto's right to practice the invention under the patent.
Judge Hudson ruled that these defects in Porto's license defeated Porto's
standing to assert the patent against Verizon. Judge Hudson's opinion can
be found here: PortoVerizon
Unfortunately for Verizon, this may only be a temporary
setback for Porto - Judge Hudson granted Porto 21 days to join the patent
owners as Plaintiffs in the case.
Read more at Virginia IP Law by
Troutman Sanders LLP.
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