On May 1, 2013, the Central District of California in Nano-Second Tech. Co. v. Dynaflex Int’l granted summary judgment on the issue of pre-assignment damages. The plaintiff had purchased the patent in September 2010, but the assignment was silent on whether, as part of the purchase and assignment, the prior owner transferred the right to collect past damages. The Court cited the Federal Circuit’s Arachnid case and the Supreme Court’s Moore v Marsh for the proposition that an assignment must expressly grant the assignee the right to collect damages for past infringement.
While the assignment in this case transferred “the entire right, title and interest” for the patent, there was no explicit mention of any past accrued damages. “Absent any explicit language conveying such right, the Court finds that Plaintiff lacNano-Second Tech. Co. v. Dynaflex Int’lks standing to sue for infringement of the ‘311 Patent occurring before September 10, 2010.” The plaintiff argued that there was plainly subjective intent to transfer the interest in past damages, as evidenced from the fact that the assignor agreed to testify in all legal proceedings. The Court found, however, that an explicit statement was required, and the Court would not read in inferential meanings in the absence of clear language.