NO CLE - Are Trademarks Really That Special, or Did Congress Just Miss Something?

The First Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Mission Product Holdings Inc. v. Tempnology LLC held that the absence of trademarks from the definition of intellection property in § 101(35A) of the Bankruptcy Code means that, unlike other types of intellectual property, a licensor’s rejection of a trademark license deprives its licensee of any right to continued use of the mark. The Supreme Court has accepted certiorari in the case and is expected to issue a decision late this Spring on the question of whether, under Bankruptcy Code § 365, a debtor-licensor’s rejection of a license terminates rights of the licensee that would survive the licensor’s breach under nonbankruptcy law. This panel will analyze the reach of the question presented, examine the arguments briefed, interpret the scope and breadth of the Court’s decision (assuming it is rendered before the term concludes), and consider the implications for commercial licensing and bankruptcy administration.

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