Attachmate Wins Important Ruling Protecting Software Licenses

Oct 27, 2010

Related Practice: Intellectual Property

Recent efforts by Stokes Lawrence attorneys to protect Attachmate against use of software beyond that authorized by a license may have settled a hotly disputed point of Washington law. Attachmate Corp. v. Health Net, Inc., C09-1161 (W.D. Wash. Oct. 26, 2010). Federal District Court Judge Marsha J. Pechman rejected defendant’s contention that Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code should apply to software license agreements, holding that a license for intellectual property is not a "sale" of goods. Properly analyzed under Washington state common law rather than Article 2, Attachmate’s separate end-user license agreements were valid, stand alone contracts. One of Attachmate’s license agreements expressly required payment, which the court held provided the "extra element" needed to avoid copyright preemption. Attachmate was represented by Shelley Hall, Leslie RuiterBrad Axel, and Theresa Wang.