November 05, 2012 Articles

Coverage for Trademark, Patent Infringement, and Antitrust Actions

Insurers have sought to secure from courts policy constructions that close scrutiny of their policy language would not sustain, to avoid potential coverage in trademark, patent, and now antitrust lawsuits

by David A. Gauntlett

Beginning in 1995, some insurers issued multimedia policies to corporations that were not specialized media companies. In crafting these policies, they adapted broad versions of early forms of commercial general liability (CGL), adding new exclusionary language. The exclusions expressly eliminated coverage for patent infringement and antitrust violations, as well as other related claims. Although these exclusions were readily available to the same insurers who sold CGL policies, those insurers failed to incorporate the exclusions into the multimedia policies. Instead, insurers have urged courts to narrowly construe coverage (as if these narrowing exclusions were in force), with varying degrees of success.

Thereafter, insurers have sought to secure from courts policy constructions that close scrutiny of their policy language would not sustain, to avoid potential coverage in trademark, patent, and now antitrust lawsuits.

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