Taylor v. Taylor Made Plastics, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Intellectual Property Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Patents, Standing
  • Date Filed: 04-29-2013
  • Case #: 8:12-CV-746-T-EAK-AEP
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: United States District Court for the District of Florida, Tampa Division.
  • Full Text Opinion

To have standing, all co-owners of a patent must be joined as parties. Ownership of a patent is determined according state law.

Opinion (Kovachevich): James Taylor ("Taylor") sued Taylor Made Plastics ("Taylor Made") alleging infringement of one of his patents. Taylor Made moved to dismiss, claiming that Taylor lacked standing because he had failed to join his ex-wife (and co-owner of the patent) as a party. When a patent is co-owed all owners must be joined to establish standing. To determine ownership of a patent the Federal Courts look to state law. Taylor developed and obtained the patent while he was married to his ex-wife ("Ms. Taylor"). Under Florida law, assets acquired during marriage are presumed to be marital assets. Additionally, the final divorce decree between the Taylors awarded Ms. Taylor a 60% interest in any proceeds from the patent. Because the Court was required to give full faith and credit to the divorce decree, the District Court determined that Ms. Taylor was an owner of the patent. Because Mr. Taylor had failed to join her as a party, the District Court GRANTED Taylor Made Plastics's motion to dismiss for lack of standing.

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