The Bristol Myers Squibb Company, or BMS, previously opposed several of our house marks in and outside the United States. We entered into a settlement and co-existence agreement with BMS and its licensee, Ono Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd on July 5, 2017. BMS subsequently withdrew oppositions of our house marks. The settlement and co-existence agreement places restrictions on how we can use our house marks and how we can seek trademark protection for our house marks.
Third parties may file trademark infringement claim against us.
Defending ourselves against such trademark infringement claims could be costly, time-consuming and distracting to management, and if we are unsuccessful in our defense, we could face an injunction and damages.
Defending ourselves against claims could be costly, time-consuming and distracting to management, and if we are unsuccessful in our defense, we could face an injunction prohibiting us from using the Aptevo trademarks and damages, all which could have a material and adverse effect on our business.
We may be subject to claims that our employees have wrongfully used or disclosed alleged trade secrets of their former employers.
As is common in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, we employ individuals who were previously employed at other biotechnology or pharmaceutical companies, including our competitors or potential competitors. We may be subject to claims that these employees or we have inadvertently or otherwise used or disclosed trade secrets or other proprietary information of their former employers. Litigation may be necessary to defend against these claims. Even if we are successful in defending against these claims, litigation could result in substantial costs and be a distraction to management.
Failure to comply with our obligations in our intellectual property licenses with third parties, could result in loss of license rights or other damages.
We are a party to a number of license agreements and expect to enter into additional license agreements in the future. Our existing licenses impose, and we expect future licenses will impose, various diligence, milestone payment, royalty, insurance and other obligations on us. If we fail to comply with these obligations, the licensor may have the right to terminate the license in whole or in part, terminate the exclusive nature of the license and/or sue us for breach, which could cause us to not be able to market any product that is covered by the licensed patents and may be subject to damages.
If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our proprietary information and know-how, the value of our technology and products could be adversely affected.
In addition to patented technology, we rely upon unpatented proprietary technology, information processes and know-how. These types of trade secrets can be difficult to protect. We seek to protect this confidential information, in part, through agreements with our employees, consultants and third parties as well as confidentiality policies and audits, although these may not be successful in protecting our trade secrets and confidential information. These agreements may be breached, and we may not have adequate remedies for any such breach. In addition, our trade secrets may otherwise become known, including through a potential cyber security breach, or may be independently developed by competitors. If we are unable to protect the confidentiality of our proprietary information and know-how, competitors may be able to use this information to develop products that compete with our products, which could adversely impact our business.