Hollister Inc. v. ComvaTec Inc., No. 10 C 6431, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 21, 2011) (Kennelly, J.).

Judge Kennelly granted defendant ConvaTec’s motion for summary judgment that its accused bowel management systems were covered by a patent cross-license agreement between ConvaTec and plaintiff Hollister’s predecessor Zassi. The agreement released each party for "any and all past, present or future claims" including patent infringement claims involving the parties then existing product lines.

The agreement excerpted new features from the release. But ConvaTec’s accused Flexi-Seal products had the same designs as ConvaTec’s products at the time of the agreement.

Hollister’s argument that only covenants not to sue, not releases, may discharge future claims was not founded in the law. Hollister cited no cases that stood for that point.