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The Effect of Corporate Acquisitions on the Target Company's License Rights

Elaine D. Ziff
The Business Lawyer
Vol. 57, No. 2 (February 2002), pp. 767-792
Published by: American Bar Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40688045
Page Count: 26
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
The Effect of Corporate Acquisitions on the Target Company's License Rights
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Abstract

Mergers and acquisitions are increasingly driven by the desire to obtain the target company's intellectual property rights— namely, patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Where, however, such rights are merely licensed to the target company, the acquirer must consider whether such rights will survive the transaction intact. The transferability of intellectual property license rights is not governed solely by general contract principles due to federal policies that support authors and inventors. This Article examines the specialized body of precedent dealing with the assignability of intellectual property license rights under a variety of acquisition structures, including asset sales, mergers, and stock purchases. Understanding the factors that have influenced courts in this area will assist practitioners in assessing the risk of whether the target company's license rights will be adversely affected by the consummation of the transaction.

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