Does my CGL insurance policy cover patent infringement litigation?

A federal court in Colorado recently addressed this question in the case of Dish Network Corp. v. Arch Specialty Ins. Co. (D. Colo. Aug. 19, 2010).  The case arose after Dish Network was sued for patent infringement.  Dish Network sought coverage for the litigation from Arch under a commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy. 

Dish argued that the “advertising injury” clause of the CGL policy applied because its allegedly infringing service was an automated phone system that was used for advertising.  The court denied Dish Network’s claim, stating that the phone system was not a substantive element of an advertisement, but rather was merely a means of conveying information to customers. 

Nonetheless, the court did provide examples in which an accused product could be covered by a CGL policy.  My colleagues Russ Barron and Steve Cole recently summarized those examples and provided tips for litigants in an article that is available on the Pepper Hamilton website.  For the full article, click here.

One response to “Does my CGL insurance policy cover patent infringement litigation?

  1. Jim,

    Thank you for the post regarding the very limited coverage offered for intellectual property, especially patents, under the CGL policies.

    Our company, Intellectual Property Insurance Services Corp., is the industry leader for IP insurance for 20 years. We offer an Abatement (enforcement) policy, which our president, Bob Fletcher, created. We also offer a defense policy, a multi-peril policy and an unauthorized disclosure of confidential information policy.

    I invite you to visit our website at to learn more about our company and our products. We would also be happy to discuss our company with you. Please feel free to contact me at or 502-855-5310. Thank you.

    Karrie Lewis
    Marketing Director
    Intellectual Property Insurance Services Corp. (IPISC)

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