In an appeal from a bankruptcy ruling (Taylor v. Taylor Made Plastics Inc., 2014-1212, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, Washington), the appellate court ruled that the omission of an ex-wife who had a 60% interest in the patent in question voided the attempt by the original patent owner to sue for infringement.
Mary Louise Taylor’s ex-husband had been issued a patent. They divorced in 2011 and she was awarded a 60% stake in that patent. He filed an infringement suit in April 2012 but failed to get his ex-wife’s participation or approval. The bankruptcy court threw out the infringement suit on that basis.
The appellate court agreed that patent-holder James Taylor failed to establish either that his ex-wife had waived participation through an agreement with him or that she agreed to join the suit
This should serve as a warning to anyone who holds an interest in any intellectual property. It is clearly important to get the participation of everyone with any interest in the property before proceeding with a lawsuit on the matter.