SCOTUS Series: Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology, LLC
Issue: Mission Product could settle a circuit split over the fate of trademark licenses in bankruptcy. The question in the case is whether the rejection of a license in bankruptcy terminates a licensee’s right to use licensed trademarks or simply constitutes a breach, which may not preclude the licensee’s continued trademark exploitation.
Section 365(n) of the Bankruptcy Code empowers a nondebtor/licensee of rights to “intellectual property” under a rejected contract with the debtor/licensor “to retain [the licensee’s] rights … under such contract and under any agreement supplementary to such contract, to … intellectual property … as such rights existed immediately before the case commenced…” Section 101(35A) of the Bankruptcy Code, in turn, defines “intellectual property” to include trade secrets, patents, patent applications, plant varieties, copyrights and mask works for semiconductor chip products—but leaves out trademarks.
- Christine Haight Farley
American University Washington College of Law, moderator
- Craig Goldblatt
WilmerHale, Counsel for Petitioner (Mission Product Holdings, Inc.)
- Jonathan Ference-Burke
Ropes & Gray, Counsel for Respondent (Tempnology, LLC)
- Jasmine Ball & Jeffrey Cunard
Debevoise & Plimpton, Counsel for Amicus International Trademark Association (in support of petitioner)
- Michael Cannata & Stuart Gordon
Rivkin Radler, Counsel for New York Intellectual Property Association (in support of petitioner)
- Theodore Davis
Kilpatrick Townsend, Counsel for Amicus American Intellectual Property Law Association (in support of neither party)
- Travis Wimberly
Pirkey Barber, Counsel for Amicus Intellectual Property Owners Association (in support of neither party)
PIJIP's Supreme Court Series
American University Washington College of Law regularly invites counsel of record and counsel for selected amici to offer post-argument reflections in intellectual property (and related) cases heard by the Supreme Court. These events are held on the afternoon of oral argument before the Court.