statements about patent license status can violate Lanham Act's false advertising provisions

Au New Haven, LLC v. YKK Corp., No. 15-cv-3411-GHW-SN, 2019 WL 1437516 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2019)Au holds the patent to a water-resistant zipper, and YKK had an exclusive “field of use” license that it allegedly exceeded, resulting in this lawsuit for patent infringement, breach of the license agreement, deceptive marketing under the Lanham Act, and deceptive practices under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act.In this summary judgment ruling, the court found that patent invalidity was subject to disputes of material fact, as did infringement. Breach of contract failed because the “the license only gives permission to sell into the non-excluded markets and does not contain a corollary prohibition of sale into the excluded markets,” though it would hold oral argument on the question of whether the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing implies a covenant not to compete in a patent license. Au had the burden to “prove not merely that it…

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