Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Plaintiff’s Controlling Shareholder Joined as Necessary Party for Potential Attorney Fees Liability

Following summary judgment, the court granted defendant's motion to join plaintiff's founder/inventor as a necessary party and pursue attorney fees against him under 35 U.S.C. § 285. "There is no evidence in the record that establishes that [plaintiff] currently has income or liquid assets. In fact, [the founder's] own declaration shows that [plaintiff] lacks sufficient financial resources. . . . Moreover, [defendant] provides evidence that [plaintiff] has not paid its fees and costs to its former counsel for over a year. . . . Given [the founder's] controlling shareholder power and his status as the only person from [plaintiff] who is involved in this litigation, the Court finds that [his] activities may potentially subject him to liability for attorneys’ fees and that he should be joined in this action."

Phigenix, Inc. v. Genentech, Inc., 5-15-cv-01238 (CAND August 13, 2018, Order) (Freeman, USDJ)

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