Summary: Patent infringement suit was dismissed for lack of standing, and patent holder failed to meet the burden of proving ex-spouse was not a co-owner of the patent.
Case: Taylor v. Taylor Made Plastics, Inc., No. 2014-1212 (Fed. Cir. May 9, 2014) (nonprecedential). On appeal from M.D.Fla. Before Dyk, Reyna, and Taranto.
Procedural Posture: Patent holder Taylor appealed district court’s dismissal of patent infringement suit for lack of standing. CAFC affirmed.
Patent ownership: Where a patent inventor is married at the time of invention, the patent is considered property subject to equitable distribution in divorce proceedings, and therefore inventor’s ex-wife became a co-owner of the patent. A suit for patent infringement must join all co-owners of the patent as plaintiffs, or else it must be dismissed for lack of standing. Co-owner must hold legal title to the patent, and not merely an equitable interest in the patent. Taylor failed to meet the burden to establish standing that his ex-wife was not the owner of legal title to patent at issue.