|As a general matter, parties should possess rights before seeking to have them vindicated in court. Allowing a subsequent assignment to automatically cure a standing defect would unjustifiably expand the number of people who are statutorily authorized to sue. Parties could justify the premature initiation of an action by averring to the court that their standing through assignment is imminent. Permitting non-owners and licensees the right to sue, so long as they eventually obtain the rights they seek to have redressed, would enmesh the judiciary in abstract disputes, risk multiple litigation, and provide incentives for parties to obtain assignment in order to expand their arsenal and the scope of litigation. Inevitably, delay and expense would be the order of the day.|
|Plaintiff argues state law governs the effective date of the Assignment and that, under Alabama law, the effective date of the Assignment is November 16, 2009. The Court and Defendants agree with Plaintiff that state law generally governs the validity and enforcement of a contract and that the Court must look to state law to determine the ownership of a patent. Plaintiff’s argument is misplaced, however, as it fails to recognize the distinction between the effective date of the Assignment as it relates to (1) whether the Assignment is valid and enforceable as between the parties (a matter of state law), and (2) whether Plaintiff had Article III standing to assert a cause of action for patent infringement (a matter of federal law).|
Epic Sporting Goods, Inc. v. Fungoman LLC, No. 09-1981 (W.D. La. Feb. 10, 2011).
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