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