Pandemic Collaborations Pose Risk Of Future Patent Disputes

Arent Fox Intellectual Property Partner, Marylee Jenkins, spoke with Law360 about how collaborations between companies and institutions formed to produce critical items needed to combat COVID-19 may lead to patent disputes. As organizations rush to produce results, many are moving forward with collaborative efforts without taking the necessary precautions to protect their rights early on.

Law360 highlights Marylee’s positon, writing “for attorneys working with companies involved in these collaborations, it's important to remind everyone that disputes do happen and documenting specific issues early will be helpful in the long-run,” Marylee Jenkins of Arent Fox LLP said. “I refer to it as the marriage and folks don't want to focus on the divorce. So there's generally a lack of good documentation of how the partnership is going to work,” Jenkins said.

“In the ‘hyperspeed mode’ of fighting the pandemic, where people are focused on results, that problem might be more acute,” she said. “Among the issues collaborators should consider confronting head-on are who is going to do what, how far resulting patent rights extend and what countries they cover.”

“I think it's important to work with your legal counsel and get them involved very quickly in the early part of the collaboration. Don't wait until the end,” Jenkins said.

Read the full Law360 article here.


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