China Intellectual Property: Beware of 'Guillotine Licenses' for Patents with U.S. Companies


  • Name
    DJ Healey
    Person title
    Senior Principal
    Headshot of DJ Healey

A United States patent gives its owner the right to exclude products that infringe the patent from United States markets. An owner of a U.S. patent can sue someone who it alleges is importing an infringing product in a United States District Court or in the United States International Trade Commission, or both places. Problems for Chinese and other foreign companies with the U.S. legal system often result in the company that is sued in the U.S. taking a license to the patent. However, if your company takes a license to avoid being in a lawsuit in the U.S. or to get out of a lawsuit, you need to protect yourself for when the license expires.

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