Un exemple des dangers de la co-propriété d’un brevet

Dans l’affaire Israel Bio-Engineering v. Amgen , la Cour d’appel du circuit fédéral aux États-Unis a refusé de procéder avec un dossier de contrefaçon de brevets parce qu’un des co-propriétaires du brevet contrefait a refusé de se joindre à la partie demanderesse.

Voici un extrait de la décision:

To sum up, Rubinstein was a presumptive co-owner of the patent because he was listed as one of four inventors on the face of the patent. It is undisputed that after the R&D program ended, Rubinstein, beginning in January 1988, discovered the substantially purified protein and the specific amino acid sequence described in claims 2 and 3 of the ’701 patent. Rubinstein then assigned his ownership rights to Yeda. Rubinstein was not required to assign his ownership share to IBEP under the Sub-R&D Contract, and Yeda properly became a co-owner of the patent by virtue of claims 2 and 3. Even assuming IBEP has co-ownership of the patent under the Sub-R&D Contract because claim 1 was discovered in 1987, the district court properly ruled that IBEP has at most a pro rata undivided ownership interest in the ’701 patent pursuant to the Sub-R&D Contract’s assignment clause. Rubinstein’s assignee, Yeda, also owns at least a pro rata undivided ownership interest in the whole ’701 patent and throughout the two appeals has made it quite clear that it wants no part of the litigation. Without a complete ownership interest or the voluntary joinder of Yeda, IBEP lacks standing to sue for infringement.

Et voici les commentaires de Patently-O sur la décision.

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