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Licensavtal med skiljeklausul - en civilprocessuell studie av skärningspunkten mellan den utomobligatoriska, till viss del offentligrättsliga, immaterialrätten och det inomobligatoriska licensavtalet

Varga, Gabriella LU (2018) JURM02 20181
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
The practice of licensing intellectual property enables greater exploitation and commercialization of intangible assets. Arbitration clauses are frequently incorporated into license agreements. When the licensee violates provisions in the license agreement in a manner that infringes upon the licensor’s intellectual property rights, competing grounds of responsibility follow. These disputes arise at the intersection of the non-contractual, partially public, intellectual property law and the contractual license agreement. This paper identifies and analyses the procedural problems which arise in these disputes.

Without an arbitration clause, it must be assumed that the licensor may choose to conduct a contractual action or to conduct an... (More)
The practice of licensing intellectual property enables greater exploitation and commercialization of intangible assets. Arbitration clauses are frequently incorporated into license agreements. When the licensee violates provisions in the license agreement in a manner that infringes upon the licensor’s intellectual property rights, competing grounds of responsibility follow. These disputes arise at the intersection of the non-contractual, partially public, intellectual property law and the contractual license agreement. This paper identifies and analyses the procedural problems which arise in these disputes.

Without an arbitration clause, it must be assumed that the licensor may choose to conduct a contractual action or to conduct an infringement action. This paper finds that this freedom, most likely, remains regardless of the incorporation of an arbitration clause in the license agreement. The doctrine of assertion is, as the paramount doctrine, likely used to determine jurisdiction. Therefore, the licensor can conduct an infringement action in general court, regardless of the arbitration agreement. The licensee’s contractual objection probably does not affect this assessment. However, it is uncertain whether the respondent’s objections are taken into consideration or not due to contradictory cases. However, if the licensor invokes alternative grounds, both contractual and non-contractual, it cannot be ruled out that the doctrine of connection is used to determine jurisdiction. Thereby the non-contractual ground may be considered embraced by the arbitration clause.

Only disputes concerning matters in which the parties may reach a settlement are arbitrable. This paper states that due to the public law features that characterize intellectual property law, the licensor’s claims and the licensee’s objections may be non-arbitrable. The licensor’s infringement claim is most likely arbitrary. However, a reductive interpretation of the scope of the intellectual property right may be non-arbitrable. Furthermore, the arbitrability of the prohibition claim is unaffected by the licensor requesting a fine. Additionally, it is uncertain whether an objection that claims that the intellectual property right is invalid, as a incidental matter with impact inter partes, is arbitrable. The views in the jurisprudence differ regarding whether it is possible to settle a non-arbitrable matter as a incidental matter. The possible impact on third parties of an invalidation trial is also a controversial issue. Thus, the legal situation is unclear.

Furthermore, since the arbitration clause only covers one of two closely related yet independent legal relationships, the principles of litispendens and res judicata raise issues here. Again, the views differ in the jurisprudence. Most likely, however, a matter that is not covered by a forums jurisdiction, and therefore not settled in that forum, cannot be considered resolved. As a result, the dispute may be resolved both by arbitration and in general court.

In conclusion, parties that include an arbitration clause in their license agreement cannot possibly predict the consequences thereof. This paper illustrates that the legal situation is ambiguous and therefore unsatisfactory for both parties and decision makers. The arbitral award may be considered invalid or set aside upon motion of a party, and the dispute risks being settled both by arbitration and in general court. The consequences thereof are costly and time-consuming. The benefits that were sought by the parties when they incorporated the arbitration clause are lost and it is argued that the legal situation is profoundly dissatisfactory. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Exploatering och kommersialisering av immateriella tillgångar möjliggörs bland annat genom att dessa, i form av immateriella rättigheter, upplåts genom licensavtal. Licensavtal förses regelmässigt med en skiljeklausul. Tvister som härrör från licensavtal bottnar inte sällan i att licenstagaren överträder bestämmelser i licensavtalet på sådant sätt att intrång i den immateriella rättigheten begås, varför konkurrerande ansvarsgrunder föreligger. Dessa tvister befinner sig i skärningspunkten mellan den utomobligatoriska, till viss del offentligrättsliga, immaterialrätten och det inomobligatoriska licensavtalet. Uppsatsen behandlar de civilprocessuella problemområden som identifierats i denna skärningspunkt.

Licensgivaren torde, utan... (More)
Exploatering och kommersialisering av immateriella tillgångar möjliggörs bland annat genom att dessa, i form av immateriella rättigheter, upplåts genom licensavtal. Licensavtal förses regelmässigt med en skiljeklausul. Tvister som härrör från licensavtal bottnar inte sällan i att licenstagaren överträder bestämmelser i licensavtalet på sådant sätt att intrång i den immateriella rättigheten begås, varför konkurrerande ansvarsgrunder föreligger. Dessa tvister befinner sig i skärningspunkten mellan den utomobligatoriska, till viss del offentligrättsliga, immaterialrätten och det inomobligatoriska licensavtalet. Uppsatsen behandlar de civilprocessuella problemområden som identifierats i denna skärningspunkt.

Licensgivaren torde, utan skiljeklausul, kunna välja mellan att föra en kontraktuell talan på inomobligatorisk grund eller en intrångstalan på utomobligatorisk grund. I uppsatsen konstateras att denna möjlighet synes kvarstå även när licensavtalet försetts med en skiljeklausul. Som huvudregel tillämpas påståendedoktrinen vid behörighetsprövningen enligt vilken licensgivaren kan föra en utomobligatorisk intrångstalan i allmän domstol, trots skiljeklausulen. Licenstagarens inomobligatoriska, skiljetäckta, invändning påverkar mest troligt inte denna bedömning. Till följd av motsägelsefulla avgöranden är rättsläget dock inte klarlagt avseende denna aspekt. Väljer licensgivaren att grunda sin talan på alternativa inom- och utomobligatoriska grunder kan det inte uteslutas att anknytningsdoktrinen aktualiseras och att en skiljenämnd därför anses behörig att pröva tvisten i sin helhet. Genomlysningsdoktrinen aktualiseras däremot inte eftersom intrång i den immateriella rättigheten förelegat även utan ett licensavtal.

I ett skiljeförfarande kan endast frågor som parterna kan förlikas om prövas. Till följd av de offentligrättsliga drag som kännetecknar immaterialrätten konstateras i uppsatsen att vissa av licensgivarens påståenden och licenstagarens invändningar befinner sig i gränslandet mellan dispositiva och indispositiva frågor. Licensgivarens intrångspåstående, inom ramen för ett förbudsyrkande, är mest troligt skiljedomsmässigt. Risk finns dock att en reduktiv tolkning av ensamrättens skyddsomfång medför bristande skiljedomsmässighet. I uppsatsen fastställs att licensgivaren inte kan skapa bristande skiljedomsmässighet genom att förena sitt förbudsyrkande med vite och därigenom undkomma skiljebundenhet. Huruvida licenstagarens invändning om att den immateriella rättigheten är ogiltig kan prövas inom ramen för ett skiljeförfarande, såsom en prejudiciell fråga med verkan inter partes, är mer osäkert. Om en icke skiljedomsmässig fråga prejudiciellt kan avgöras av en skiljenämnd råder det delade meningar om i den civilprocessuella doktrinen. Vilken verkan en ogiltighetsprövning riskerar medföra för tredje man är också stridigt. Rättsläget är till följd härav osäkert.

I uppsatsen behandlas vidare den rättskraftsproblematik som följer av att skiljeklausulen endast täcker en av två närliggande, men självständiga, rättsförhållanden. Också avseende denna fråga går meningarna isär i den civilprocessuella doktrinen. I uppsatsen konstateras dock att en fråga som ett forum inte är behörig att pröva troligtvis inte anses rättskraftigt avgjord.

Parter som förenar sitt licensavtal med en skiljeklausul kan omöjligen förutse skiljeklausulens verkningar. I uppsatsen åskådliggörs att rättsläget är oklart avseende många centrala aspekter och därför oförutsägbart för både parter och beslutsfattare. Skiljedomen riskerar att anses ogiltig alternativt att klandras av part och tvisten riskeras avgöras genom dubbla processer i olika forum med följden att processen fördyras och fördröjs. De fördelar som eftersträvades när skiljeklausulen inkorporerades i licensavtalet går förlorade. I uppsatsen konstateras att rättsläget är djupt otillfredsställande. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Varga, Gabriella LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
Arbitration clauses in license agreements - a procedural study at the intersection of the non-contractual, partially public, intellectual property law and the contractual license agreement
course
JURM02 20181
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
immaterialrätt, intellectual property law, civilprocessrätt, procedural law, skiljedomsrätt, licensavtal, skiljeklausul
language
Swedish
id
8941412
date added to LUP
2018-06-10 15:24:52
date last changed
2018-06-10 15:24:52
@misc{8941412,
  abstract     = {The practice of licensing intellectual property enables greater exploitation and commercialization of intangible assets. Arbitration clauses are frequently incorporated into license agreements. When the licensee violates provisions in the license agreement in a manner that infringes upon the licensor’s intellectual property rights, competing grounds of responsibility follow. These disputes arise at the intersection of the non-contractual, partially public, intellectual property law and the contractual license agreement. This paper identifies and analyses the procedural problems which arise in these disputes.

Without an arbitration clause, it must be assumed that the licensor may choose to conduct a contractual action or to conduct an infringement action. This paper finds that this freedom, most likely, remains regardless of the incorporation of an arbitration clause in the license agreement. The doctrine of assertion is, as the paramount doctrine, likely used to determine jurisdiction. Therefore, the licensor can conduct an infringement action in general court, regardless of the arbitration agreement. The licensee’s contractual objection probably does not affect this assessment. However, it is uncertain whether the respondent’s objections are taken into consideration or not due to contradictory cases. However, if the licensor invokes alternative grounds, both contractual and non-contractual, it cannot be ruled out that the doctrine of connection is used to determine jurisdiction. Thereby the non-contractual ground may be considered embraced by the arbitration clause.

Only disputes concerning matters in which the parties may reach a settlement are arbitrable. This paper states that due to the public law features that characterize intellectual property law, the licensor’s claims and the licensee’s objections may be non-arbitrable. The licensor’s infringement claim is most likely arbitrary. However, a reductive interpretation of the scope of the intellectual property right may be non-arbitrable. Furthermore, the arbitrability of the prohibition claim is unaffected by the licensor requesting a fine. Additionally, it is uncertain whether an objection that claims that the intellectual property right is invalid, as a incidental matter with impact inter partes, is arbitrable. The views in the jurisprudence differ regarding whether it is possible to settle a non-arbitrable matter as a incidental matter. The possible impact on third parties of an invalidation trial is also a controversial issue. Thus, the legal situation is unclear.

Furthermore, since the arbitration clause only covers one of two closely related yet independent legal relationships, the principles of litispendens and res judicata raise issues here. Again, the views differ in the jurisprudence. Most likely, however, a matter that is not covered by a forums jurisdiction, and therefore not settled in that forum, cannot be considered resolved. As a result, the dispute may be resolved both by arbitration and in general court.

In conclusion, parties that include an arbitration clause in their license agreement cannot possibly predict the consequences thereof. This paper illustrates that the legal situation is ambiguous and therefore unsatisfactory for both parties and decision makers. The arbitral award may be considered invalid or set aside upon motion of a party, and the dispute risks being settled both by arbitration and in general court. The consequences thereof are costly and time-consuming. The benefits that were sought by the parties when they incorporated the arbitration clause are lost and it is argued that the legal situation is profoundly dissatisfactory.},
  author       = {Varga, Gabriella},
  keyword      = {immaterialrätt,intellectual property law,civilprocessrätt,procedural law,skiljedomsrätt,licensavtal,skiljeklausul},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Licensavtal med skiljeklausul - en civilprocessuell studie av skärningspunkten mellan den utomobligatoriska, till viss del offentligrättsliga, immaterialrätten och det inomobligatoriska licensavtalet},
  year         = {2018},
}