Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

No Adverse Possession of Intellectual Property Rights

From Picture Patents, LLC v. Terra Holdings LLC, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98030 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 3, 2008):

... I am aware that IBM has had actual knowledge of the claim by plaintiff's assignor that she owns the invention for approximately fifteen years and that IBM has taken no steps to assert ownership. However, unless and until adverse possession of a patent is found sufficient to confer title, any defects that may confront a claim of ownership by IBM do not defeat defendants' arguments that plaintiff's assignor transferred the right to the invention to IBM prior to the assignment to plaintiff. Imatec, Ltd. v. Apple Computer Corp., ... 81 F. Supp.2d at 483 n.5 (defense of lack of patent ownership is not defeated by the fact that any claim of ownership by first transferee may be barred by statute of limitations).

[Footnote] 1 As far as I am aware, there is no authority supporting the proposition that title to a patent can be acquired through adverse possession. See Daniel J. McFeely, Comment, An Argument for Restricting the Patent Rights of Those Who Misuse the U.S. Patent System to Earn Money Through Litigation, 40 Ariz. St. L.J. 289, 318 (2008) ("Although the law of adverse possession is well-established in the area of real property law, it has not yet been applied in the intellectual property areas of copyright or patent law.").

Share this article:


Recent Posts