IP: Discoverability of Settlement Negotiations

While In re MSTG should not have the effect of making all settlement negotiation evidence discoverable all of the time, the Federal Circuit has made clear that such evidence is not presumptively off-limits.

May 15, 2012

The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ April 9 opinion in In re MSTG, Inc. has parties to patent license agreements thumbing through their files to see what exactly was said in the settlement negotiations that led to those licenses. In In re MSTG, the Federal Circuit addressed a petition for a writ of mandamus brought by a patent holder that had been ordered by the district court to produce to AT&T, an accused infringer, all communications the patent holder had with six companies that had previously taken licenses.

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