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Houston Harbaugh, P.C.
Houston Harbaugh, P.C.

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Houston Harbaugh Blog

June 2019 Archives

Does a Well Passing Horizontally Under A Property Trigger A "Payment in Lieu of Free Gas" Clause? The Pennsylvania Superior Court Says "No".

In a recent ruling in Mitch v. XTO Energy, Inc. the Pennsylvania Superior Court has reasoned that a well drilled horizontally below a landowner's property does not trigger the "free gas" clause in a lease as no burden or limitation on the landowner's use and enjoyment of the surface of the land has taken place. Oil and gas attorney Brendan A. O'Donnell examines the Mitch case in depth below and explains what this can mean for landowners and their lease provisions.

Supreme Court Rules That Government is Not a "Person" Under the America Invents Act

Federal law has allowed for third party requests for reexamination of an issued patent on the basis on prior art since the 1980s. Under the America Invents Act of 2011 (AIA), three review processes replaced what was then known as "inter partes reexamination." These three review proceedings enable a "person" other than the patent owner to challenge the validity of a patent post-issuance: (1) "inter partes review," §311; (2) "post-grant review," §321; and (3) "covered-business-method review" (CBM review). As an alternative to or in connection with a patent litigation, an interested third party, an accused infringer, or any "person," can request one of these types of reviews.

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