Summary: CAFC affirms dismissal of qui tam suit for lack of standing due to the AIA’s elimination of 35 U.S.C. § 292’s qui tam provision.

Digest of Stauffer v. Brooks Bros. Grp., Inc.

Case: Stauffer v. Brooks Bros. Grp., Inc., No. 2013-1180 (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2014) (precedential). On appeal from S.D.N.Y. Before Lourie, Schall, and Moore.

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff appealed district court’s dismissal of his qui tam suit, which was brought under the then-extant version of the false marking statute (35 U.S.C. § 292), for lack of standing due to the AIA’s elimination of the statute’s qui tam provision. CAFC affirmed.

  • Standing: The CAFC found that plaintiff has standing to make his arguments on appeal because a favorable decision on the asserted issues is likely to redress his alleged damages. However, the CAFC affirmed the district court’s dismissal because the AIA amendment to the false-marking statute that eliminated liability for expired patents does not constitute an impermissible pardon, but is better characterized as repealing a law, which is within Congress’s power. The AIA amendment also did not violate the common-law principle that prohibits use of a pardon to vitiate a qui tam action once it has commenced because plaintiff had no vested rights in his suit, and the AIA amendments do not constitute a pardon.
  • Waiver: Plaintiff waived other arguments made on appeal by not properly raising them before the district court.

Hui Li