REDF Organic Recovery v. Kafin

Intellectual Property

New York Law Journal


Judge John Keenan

Organic Dynamics (OD) licensed REDF Organic Recovery's technology and intellectual property used to convert food and organic waste into liquid fertilizer. OD awaited response on its patent application—required under the license agreement—as of March 2009 when it sought bankruptcy in Florida. Kafin bought OD's assets, including the technology subject to the license agreement. The bankruptcy court found the agreement binding on Kafin. District court denied REDF an injunction requiring him to give it power of attorney to pursue the pending patent application. It also stayed action pending arbitration. REDF's claims of irreparable harm were speculative. Kafin's abandonment of the patent application fell in 37 CFR §1.137's definition of "unavoidable" as applied to REDF. Discussing Futures Technology v. Quigg, the court found REDF unable to avoid the patent application's abandonment. Further, Kafin invoked his right to arbitration as soon as the Florida court found him a party to the license agrement. Given the agreement's arbitration clause, the court could not contravene the parties' contract rights absent clear evidence of waiver. REDF failed to show Kafin unreasonably waited to assert his right to arbitration.

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