Apparently realizing its potential problem, IBM US had also filed assignments from the inventors to IBM US in May 2007 (the lawsuit was filed in December, 2006). The court didn’t need these assignments, though, for its decision on the chain of title.
Personally, I would have liked more information about the Japanese and U.S. assignments. The assignment from IBM Japan to IBM World Trade was not automatic; the grant was the right “to file or have filed on its behalf or on behalf of such designees, and to own such applications for patents and the patents issuing thereon …” There was no mention in the case of whether IBM World Trade, or IBM US on its behalf, filed the US application. But at the end of the day IBM US owned the patent and properly assigned it to AU Optronics. Patent infringed, by the way.
LG Display Co., Ltd. v. AU Optronics Corp., Nos. 06-726-JJF, 07-357-JJF (D. Del. Feb. 16, 2010).
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