Thursday, May 10, 2012

Summary 2012 WY 66

Summary of Decision May 10, 2012

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Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court


Docket Number: S-11-0166


Certified Question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, The Honorable William C. Bryson, Circuit Judge

Representing Appellant (Plaintiff/Defendant): Philip A. Nicholas and Mitchell H. Edwards, Nicholas & Tangeman, LLC, Laramie, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Edwards.

Representing Appellee (Plaintiff/Defendant): Mark R. Ruppert, Joanna R. Vilos and Tyler J. Garrett, Holland & Hart LLP, Cheyenne, Wyoming; Shane P. Coleman, Holland & Hart LLP, Billings, Montana. Argument by Mr. Ruppert.

Date of Decision: May 10, 2012

Facts: The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit certified a question regarding the validity of an assignment of intellectual property rights given by Yale Preston to Marathon Oil Company without any additional consideration other than continued at-will employment.

Certified Question: Does continuing the employment of an existing at-will employee constitute adequate consideration to support an agreement containing an intellectual property-assignment provision?

The answer to the question is “yes,” continuation of at-will employment is sufficient consideration for an agreement requiring assignment of intellectual property.

Chief Justice Kite delivered the opinion for the court.

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