Stephen Larson Shares Insights with Bloomberg Law on Potential IP Complexities of TikTok Divestiture

| Stephen W. Larson

In the article “TikTok Forced Sale Bid Embroils ByteDance’s Vast Patent Trove,” litigation partner Stephen Larson discussed the nuances of how ByteDance’s intellectual property could factor in a potential divestiture of the company’s lucrative social media subsidiary TikTok. The article analyzes the implications of a forced divestiture as a result of a U.S. House-passed bill banning TikTok from operating in the United States unless China-based ByteDance sells off the app.

Regarding whether ByteDance’s patents associated with TikTok would be part of such a sale, Larson, who handles high-stakes matters across a variety of technology areas, said that divestitures can exclude IP assets or require them to be sold off. Alternatively, he noted, non-exclusive licensing rights remain another possibility—though this would be “obviously the least valuable” option since competitors could also acquire licenses to the technology.

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