Keep an Eye on the Issue of Sovereign Immunity When Licensing State University-Based Patent Rights in Light of Ericsson Inc. v. Regents of the University of Minnesota

By Kandace Watson and Shane Killeen

©2019. Published in Landslide, Vol. 11, No. 5, May/June 2019, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.

For 2019 and the foreseeable future, product development collaborations between universities and private industry are expected to continue;1 the number of university licenses executed—exclusive, options, or nonexclusive—remained consistent from 2015 to 2017.2 However, in light of a recent decision by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), parties may want to consider the issue of sovereign immunity that may arise when licensing patent rights from a state university.

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