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The Updated 2017 Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property

copyright-law.jpgThe year 2017 has brought a considerable amount of political change across the country. While certain political developments receive never-ending media attention, other key policy changes fly completely under the radar. Of course, that does not make these changes any less important for the affected business. One area where this applies is the new federal intellectual property licensing guidelines. This new (lightly covered) new was announced at the beginning of this year by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Here, our experienced Bay Area intellectual property lawyers discuss some of the most important changes in the updated IP licensing guidelines.

The Guidelines Were Updated in Accordance With Other Key Legal Changes

The last time the federal IP licensing guidelines were updated was over a decade ago. Since that time, there have been several key legal changes in the area of intellectual property law and antitrust law. For example, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) was signed by President Obama in 2016, providing the first federal cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. Additionally, the guidelines were updated to correspond with Supreme Court rulings that have been issued in the past several years.

The Changes Impact Patents, Trade Secrets, and Copyrights

There are no changes to the federal guidelines regarding trademarks. However, the updated guidelines could potentially have an impact on any companies that plan to license a copyright, patent or a trade secret. If your company is involved in licensing of any of these types of intellectual property, on either side of the deal, it is imperative that you have an experienced attorney by your side who can help you reach a legally permissible agreement that is truly in the best interests of your business.

The DOJ and FTC Re-Committed to "Pro-Competitive" Policies

The most important thing that businesses need to know about these new guidelines is that the changes to do not upend the federal agencies' general, long-standing "pro-competitive" outlook. In this context, the term pro-competitive refers to the fact that the DOJ and FTC are willing to grant private companies wide discretion when they voluntarily choose to license their intellectual property. In other words, the federal agencies do not want to prevent licensing deals. That being said, your firm needs to be sure to comply with all of the agency's rules and requirements to ensure that your deal will be allowed.

Get Business Law Assistance Now

At Diemer, Whitman & Cardosi, LLP, our talented San Jose intellectual property lawyers have extensive experience handling licensing agreements and other complex legal issues. If you are in need legal assistance, please call us today at 408-971-6270 or reach out to us directly through our website. We proudly represent companies throughout the Bay Area, including in San Francisco, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View.



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