The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit limits patent misuse doctrine and distinguishes it from antitrust violation (Princo)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued an en banc decision with significant implications for the doctrine of patent misuse. The decision issued last week overturns part of a Federal Circuit panel decision last year holding that Philips may have committed patent misuse by entering into a patent pool agreement with Sony and others pursuant to which Sony agreed not to license a potentially competing patent outside the patent pool. Princo Corp. v. International Trade Commission, 2007-1386 (Fed. Cir., August 30, 2010). The decision restricts patent misuse to situations in which a patent holder uses a patent to leverage its power beyond the scope of the patent. By distinguishing patent misuse from antitrust law, the decision opens the possibility that a patent holder's conduct

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