Profits or damages for infringement cannot be sued for except on the basis of title as patentee, or as such assignee or grantee to the whole or part of the patent, and not on the basis merely of the assignment of a right to a claim for damages severed from such title. In this case, bankruptcy proceedings led to a liquidation plan agreement negotiated at arms-length between classes of interested parties. AHLT also holds the exclusive right to make, use, and sell the patented technology-though it is contractually prohibited from exercising that right itself under the liquidation plan. The majority holds that, in a bankruptcy proceeding, separating the title to a patent from the right to sue for infringement extinguishes all standing to enforce the patent. Specifically, a putative plaintiff must demonstrate (1) an injury in fact (invasion of a legal interest that is concrete and particularized, and actual or imminent injury); (2) a causal connection between the defendant's action and the injury; and (3) that it is likely a favorable decision would redress the injury. The claim to recover profits or damages for this infringement cannot be severed from the title by an assignment or grant so as to give the right of action for such claim in disregard of the statute. Thus, the patent statutes have long been recognized as the law that governs who has the right to bring suit for patent infringement, even when patent rights have been transferred as a result of bankruptcy or proceedings in equity. AHLT holds all rights to license the ′647 patent to third parties and collect royalties from those licenses, royalties not shared with GUCLT and BHLT. REVERSED AND VACATEDCOSTSEach party shall bear its own costs for this appeal and cross-appeal.
Since it has the right to sue, GUCLT has the exclusive right or duty to (1) decide, at its discretion, whether to investigate, pursue, or dismiss patent infringement actions (without consultation with AHLT and BHLT); (2) collect damages from infringement litigations; (3) incur any liability arising from claims or defenses of any infringement defendant; (4) incur all costs and expenses associated with such litigations; and (5) assume any litigation sanctions. But standing “often turns on the nature and source of the claim asserted․ Essentially, the standing question in such cases is whether the constitutional or statutory provision on which the claim rests properly can be understood as granting persons in the plaintiff's position a right to judicial relief.” Warth v. Only when a party holds the exclusionary rights to the patent but lacks all substantial rights may the party join the legal title owner in a suit to enforce patent rights.
The committee settlement agreement was incorporated into a joint bankruptcy liquidation plan (liquidation plan). Specifically, it noted that GUCLT's rights “arise out of bankruptcy law and trust relationships, rather than a traditional patent licensing relationship.” Id. The court determined that GUCLT had a “proprietary interest” in the patent (1) as AHC's successor for all purposes related to the Estate Litigation and had the power to pursue this litigation in AHC's name as if it had never gone bankrupt; and (2) as a trust beneficiary of the patent that AHLT holds in trust for GUCLT and BHLT and an equitable title holder for purposes of the Estate Litigation. It did not analyze GUCLT's standing to bring this suit under patent law standing principles.
Spacone appeals the United States District Court for the Northern District of California's grant of Microsoft Corporation's (Microsoft) motion for summary judgment of noninfringement of claims 2, 8, 12, and 13 of U. In April 2002, after several days of mediation, the committees entered into a settlement of their claims against AHC.
BHLT was given rights to causes of actions against AHC's controlling shareholders, including AT & T Corporation, Comcast Corporation, and Cox Communications. Standing is a legal question and jurisdictional issue that this court reviews without deference.
The liquidation plan distributed certain assets and rights among the trusts. As a threshold matter, we must consider the district court's determination that bankruptcy principles govern the standing inquiry in this case. The patent statutes govern the creation and protection of patent rights, how rights can be transferred, and the parties entitled to assert those rights.