JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Datatreasury Corp., No. 15-40905 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
DTC filed suit against JPMC and others, alleging willful patent infringement relating to electronic check-processing systems. JPMC was the first bank to reach a settlement agreement with DTC in 2005. As part of the settlement, JPMC entered into a consent judgment in which it admitted the patents were valid and enforceable and that JPMC had infringed them. It also entered into a license agreement permitting JPMC unlimited use of DTC’s patented technology going forward. At issue in this appeal is the district court’s interpretation of a most favored licensee (MFL) clause in the license agreement allowing JPMC to use DTC's patented check processing technology. JPMC invoked its rights under the MFL clause based on DTC’s granting a similar unlimited license to another entity for a lesser lump sum than JPMC paid. The court agreed with the district court that after comparing these two lump-sum license agreements, the later agreement is indeed more favorable, and JPMC therefore is entitled to a refund from DTC for the difference between the amount it paid for its license and the lesser amount bargained for in the later license agreement. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.