On May 20, 2019, the US Supreme Court ruled that a licensor’s rejection of a trademark license in bankruptcy does not terminate the licensee’s right to continue using the licensed mark. Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC, 587 US __ (2019). The decision brings trademarks into alignment with how patents and copyrights are already treated under the Bankruptcy Code.
In a United States bankruptcy case, licensees of intellectual property are granted certain protections under Bankruptcy Code section 365(n) if a debtor rejects (terminates) the license. These protections, however, are not guaranteed when the debtor licensor is subject to a foreign insolvency proceeding. Nevertheless, as previously reported in the February 2012 issue of the International Restructuring Newswire, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia awarded these section 365(n) protections on US patents licensed by a debtor whose German insolvency proceeding was recognized under Chapter 15. The Fourth Circuit recently affirmed the bankruptcy court’s decision, and … Continue Reading