Can You Sue “the State” For Patent Infringement?
By Rick Neifeld, Neifeld IP Law, PCCan the patentee sue the State of the United States for obvious transgression underneath emperor law? Under stream Supreme Court law, no, unless the State has waived the emperor immunity.
Under the U.S. Constitution as good as the amendments, States of the United States have emperor shield to suit. Only if the State waives the emperor shield to suit, can it be sued underneath emperor law. Congress attempted to revoke the States’ emperor shield to fit for obvious transgression in the 1990s. The Supreme Court overruled which try in Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank, saying that:
In 1992, Congress nice the obvious laws as good as specifically abrogated the States’ emperor shield from claims of obvious infringement. Respondent College Savings afterwards sued the State of Florida for obvious infringement, as good as the Court of Appeals reason which Congress had validly abrogated the State’s emperor shield from transgression suits pursuant to the management underneath § 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. We reason that, underneath City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507, 138 L. Ed. 2d 624, 117 S. Ct. 2157 (1997), the government cannot be postulated as legislation enacted to have the guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause, as good as thus retreat the preference of the Court of Appeals. ***
The chronological jot down as good as the range of coverage thus have it transparent which the Patent Remedy Act cannot be postulated underneath § 5 of the Fourteenth Amendment. The examples of States avoiding guilt for obvious transgression by pleading emperor shield in the federal-court obvious movement have been wanting enough, though any trustworthy evidence which such movement on the partial of the State deprived patentees of skill as good as left them though the pill underneath state law is scarcer still. The statute’s strong as good as some-more simple aims were to yield the unvaried pill for obvious transgression as good as to place States on the same balance as in isolation parties underneath which regime.11 These have been correct Article I concerns, though which Article does not give Congress the energy to order such legislation after Seminole Tribe.
11 See 35 U.S.C. § 271(h) (stating which States as good as state entities “shall be theme to the supplies of this pretension in the same demeanour as good as to the same border as any nongovernmental entity”); see additionally H. R. Rep., during 40 (“The Committee believes which the full duds of remedies supposing in the obvious law should be accessible to patentees whose bona fide rights have been infringed by States or State entities”); S. Rep., during 14. Thus, discordant to the dissent’s intimation, see post, during 16, the Patent Remedy Act does not put States in the same on all sides as the United States. Under the Patent Remedy Act, States have been theme to all the remedies accessible to plaintiffs in transgression actions, which embody punitive indemnification as good as attorney’s fees, see 35 U.S.C. §§ 284, 285, as good as injunctive relief, see § 283. In waiving the own shield from obvious transgression actions in twenty-eight U.S.C. § 1498(a) (1994 ed. as good as Supp. III), however, the United States did not agree to possibly three-way indemnification or injunctive relief, as good as authorised in accord with attorney’s fees usually in the slight category of specified instances. [Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board v. College Savings Bank, 527 U.S. 627; 119 S. Ct. 2199; 144 L. Ed. 2d 575; 1999 U.S. LEXIS 4376; 67 U.S.L.W. 4580; 51 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 1081; 99 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4945; 99 Daily Journal DAR 6371; 1999 Colo. J. C.A.R. 3688; twelve Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 458 (1999).]Is it probable which the Congress could in the destiny pass the law to revoke State shield to obvious transgression suit? It is possible. Florida Prepaid was the 5-4 decision. In addition, it left Congress loopholes for successive legislation of the same range by citing in the legislative jot down the settlement of State abuse of obvious rights or enacting the some-more narrowly tailored law.Is it probable in any box to sue the State for obvious transgression underneath emperor law? If the State has waived the emperor shield to obvious infringement, yes.
Alternatively, the state might have supposing by state government an pick pill for the transgression of the patent. If so, the patentee might sue to acquire which pick remedy.
In addition, in any case, the patentee might try to request the state central infringing the patent. See Applera Corp. v. MJ Research Inc., 311 F. Supp. 2d 293; 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3837 (D.C.D.CT. 2004)(” It seems transparent which the patentee might still curb the state’s obvious transgression by suing the obliged state military officer for injunctive service in emperor justice pursuant to the Ex Parte Young doctrine, see Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44, 72 n.16, 134 L. Ed. 2d 252, 116 S. Ct. 1114 (1996); see additionally Genentech, Inc. v. Regents of Univ. of Cal., 143 F.3d 1446, 1454 (Fed. Cir. 1998) vacated on alternative drift by 527 U.S. 1031, 144 L. Ed. 2d 789, 119 S. Ct. 2388, and, depending on the state, aspire to repairs remedies for transgression in state court, see Florida Prepaid, 527 U.S. during 642-45 as good as n.9.”)
Finally, keep in thoughts which emperor shield attaches to instrumentalities of the state, similar to state universities. Therefore, the state university behaving infringing investigate might be defence to fit for obvious infringement. Research is in all not defence from suit; it is not defence if it has the smallest blurb implication. Madey v. Duke University, 307 R.3d 1351 (Fed. Cir. 2002). However, the in isolation house sponsoring such university investigate is not defence from suit. Therefore, such the house might be sued for inducing the university to infringe. See Syrrx, Inc. v. Oculus Pharms., Inc., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14893; 64 USPQ2d 1222 (D.C.D.De 2002)(“The Court understands Florida Prepaid to reason which States cannot be sued in emperor justice for obvious transgression since Congress did not have the legislative management to validly revoke the States’ Eleventh Amendment emperor shield with the Patent Remedy Act. The Court does not review Florida Prepaid to reason which States cannot transgress patents or cannot be found to transgress patents in the emperor justice legal box to which the State is not the party. In sum, the Court understands the land in Florida Prepaid to club obvious transgression lawsuits opposite States in emperor court, though to have no outcome on obvious lawsuit in between dual in isolation parties. n2 Therefore, the jury or the justice might find the compulsory approach transgression on the partial of the non-party State and/or their instrumentalities on which to speculate the anticipating of provocation of transgression opposite the in isolation party. Therefore, in the present case, the Court concludes which emperor shield underneath the Eleventh Amendment does not club the provocation of transgression explain brought by Syrrx opposite Oculus”).