Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Former Spouse’s Marital Property Rights Undercut Plaintiff’s Standing

The court granted defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's infringement action for lack of standing because plaintiff's ex-wife who had legal title to the patent-in-suit was not a party to the action. "[S]ince the Patent was issued to the Plaintiff while he was married . . . the Patent was presumably a marital asset, under Florida law, prior to the issuance of the Divorce Settlement. The Divorce Settlement merely reinforced that presumption by subjecting the Patent to equitable distribution and awarding [plaintiff's ex-wife] a 60% interest in any proceeds from the Patent. . . . Since the Divorce Settlement reinforces [her] ownership interest in the Patent, the Complaint must be dismissed because [she] has not been made a party to the suit."

Taylor v. Taylor Made Plastics, Inc., 8-12-cv-00746 (FLMD April 29, 2013, Order) (Kovachevich, J.).

1 comment:

Nick said...

Intellectual property rights are no different from other types of marital property, whether it be owning a restaurant together or any other type of business. One the wife is joined, I assume the judge will allow the plaintiff to refile as the dismissal was surely without prejudice.