Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Minerva Surgical, Inc. v. Hologic, Inc., Cytyc Surgical Products, LLC that the doctrine of assignor estoppel”—which bars the assignor of a patent from later attacking the patent’s validity—“is well grounded in centuries-old fairness principles…[but] applies only when the assignor’s claim of invalidity contradicts explicit or implicit representations he made in assigning the patent.” Most expected the Court to rule along those lines following oral argument earlier this year, but the split decision, which included two separate dissents, could signal this Court’s future interest in patent cases. Commenters below also said that the ruling will result in the doctrine of assignor estoppel being applied much less frequently and in much narrower circumstances, and that it will almost certainly never be applied in employee agreement situations going forward. Here is what some stakeholders had to say.
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