Third-party Patent Infringement: Let the Licensee Beware
After months of effort, you have successfully negotiated a nonexclusive license under an important patent. The license agreement allows you to make, use, sell, offer for sale, and import products that are covered by the patent. Much to your horror, your arch-competitor starts making and selling competing products that use the licensed technology, pricing its products substantially below your planned price. When you inquire, the licensor says that the competitor does not have a license. What can you do to stop this “third-party” infringement of the patent?
You examine the license agreement but see nothing about third-party infringement of the licensed technology. Can you stop your competitor from using the technology? Can you force your licensor to stop the competitor? The short answer is “no”.