What is Intellectual Property?

In Energy Recovery, Inc. v. Hague, [2013-1515] (March 20, 2014), Judge Wallach and the Federal Cricuit gave a definition.  In 2001, Hauge was ordered to assign all intellectual prioperty rights in pressure exchangers to Energy Recovery.  Years later, Hague was in the business of making pressure exchangers, and Energry Recovery moved for a contempt citation,arguing that he was using Energy Recovery’s technology.  Hague argued that he did in fact assign all of the intellectual property as required,  The district court found that Hague violated the letter and spirit of the agreement, but the Federal Circuit disagreed.    The Federal Circuit Hague was required to transfer intellectual property rights, and found that nothing prohibited Hague from using any manufacturing process, distinguishing between the underlying technology and the rights protecting the technology.  The Federal Circuit said that Hague may be infringing the assigned patents or trade secrets, but he is not in contempt of the order.