Gellman v. Telular Corp., No. 11-01196, 2011 BL 301393 (Fed. Cir. Nov. 30, 2011) The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a plaintiff’s patent infringement action for lack of standing. The plaintiff asserted that her late husband's employee and co-inventor of the patent in suit had effectively assigned his patent rights through an employment agreement. The Federal Circuit ruled, however, that the plaintiff lacked full title, at most having equitable title that was insufficient to confer standing to maintain the action. Because Gellman failed to establish on appeal the sole ownership of the patent in suit, the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling.
District Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Complaint
[A]ny and all ideas, discoveries, inventions, [etc.] . . . developed, prepared, conceived, made, discovered or suggested by [Seivert] when performing services pursuant to this Agreement . . . shall be and remain the exclusive property of Cellular Alarm. [Seivert] agrees to execute any and all assignments or other transfer documents which are necessary, in the sole opinion of Cellular Alarm, to vest in Cellular Alarm all right, title, and interest in such Work Products.
Federal Circuit Rules Agreement Is Not Effective to Transfer Title
"Hired To Invent" Doctrine Creates Only Equitable Title
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