The doctrine of assignor estoppel is still valid. However, the doctrine has limits on when it is applicable.
Results for Assignment
A court considering a co-ownership claim of a past employer on a new invention of a past employee will refer to employment agreement language as well as whether or not the past employer’s claim to contribution was publically available when an application to cover the new invention is filed.
A later-signed assignment stating a present assignment of rights may take precedence over an earlier assignment merely agreeing to assign rights in the future; the Bayh-Dole Act does not automatically void an otherwise valid prior contractual transfer of rights by an inventor; generally all co-owners must join as plaintiffs in an infringement suit.
Plaintiff licensee lacks standing to sue for infringement, even though license agreement grants plaintiff exclusive right to sue for commercial infringement, since licensor retains legal title to patent, and right to sue for infringement other than commercial infringement.
A motion for relief under F.R.C.P. §§ 59(e) or 60(b) should be granted when the court’s exercise of discretion rests on an erroneous factual or legal premise.