Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


Hilary Ditch


Over the past several decades, business entities have increasingly relied on Commercial General Liability insurance for coverage and protection against the significant costs of defending against intellectual property lawsuits. However, despite this increased usage, the coverage provided for intellectual property infringement claims by Commercial General Liability insurance policies remains uncertain and indeterminate. This frustrating conclusion, reached by numerous courts, legal scholars and insurance practitioners, captures the current state of the law as it applies to coverage for intellectual property infringement claims. Consequently, many business entities seeking to apply their insurance policies to defend against intellectual property claims may face uncertainty or, worse, non-coverage.

This note ultimately concludes that Commercial General Liability policies should be adapted to address the special needs of intellectual property infringement claims in order to avoid continued confusion and unnecessarily expensive litigation. This note further concludes also that these adaptations should be made with an eye towards the importance of maintaining the valuable quality of standardization that Commercial General Liability policies provide.