From our private database of 28,700+ case briefs...
PPG Industries, Inc. v. Guardian Industries Corporation
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
597 F.2d 1090 (1979)
Both PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG) (plaintiff) and Permaglass, Inc., fabricated glass products and held patents related to their manufacturing processes. Under a 1964 agreement, Permaglass granted PPG an “exclusive” license of Permaglass’s patent rights, except Permaglass reserved for itself a “non-exclusive, non-transferable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license”—that is, a license “for the benefit and use of” Permaglass. Under the same 1964 agreement, PPG granted Permaglass a “non-transferable” license to PPG’s patent rights. The agreement contained a non-assignment clause so that the license granted from PPG to Permaglass was “personal” to Permaglass and “non-assignable” except with the prior consent of PPG. Furthermore, the agreement contained a termination clause, stating that in the event a majority of Permaglass’s voting stock was owned or controlled by a manufacturer of automobiles or glass, the license granted to Permaglass would terminate. In 1969, Permaglass merged into Guardian Industries, Inc. (Guardian) (defendant). Guardian was a glass manufacturer for automobiles that intended to provide Permaglass with a larger manufacturing facility. After the merger was complete, PPG brought a patent infringement action against Guardian, claiming that Guardian was using technology contained in 11 patents covered by the 1964 agreement. PPG’s position was that (1) the patent-license rights reserved by Permaglass did not pass to the surviving, post-merger corporation and (2) the patent-license rights that PPG had granted to Permaglass were non-transferable and, in any event, had terminated under the termination clause. The district court found that Guardian had acquired the patent-license rights by operation of law under state merger statutes and that there had been “no assignment or transfer” of the license rights within the meaning of the 1964 agreement. The court dismissed PPG’s patent-infringement action. PPG appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lively, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 546,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 546,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 28,700 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.