TheBrain Techs. LP v. AnyLogic N.A., LLC, No. 17 C 6574, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 4, 2019) (Coleman, J.).
Judge Coleman granted defendant’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction in this patent infringement case involving graphical representations of information.
The assignment chain of the patent-in-suit did not show an assignment from TheBrain Corp. to TheBrain LP, the plaintiff. To remedy the issue, TheBrain LP relied upon a 2015 Confirmatory Assignment that stated that prior owner Natrificial LLC relinquished its rights to the patent to TheBrain Corp. in 2000. Even if it were accepted, the 2015 Confirmatory Assignment did not transfer any rights to TheBrain LP. But the Court noted that the Federal Circuit did not give post-hac document retroactive effect. The 2015 Confirmatory Assignment, therefore, could not be the basis for standing. TheBrain LP’s argument that the 2015 Confirmatory Assignment simply confirmed what had happened in the past did not change that it was a post-hac agreement. Furthermore, there were contradictory documents listing Natrificial as the patent’s owner after the alleged 2000 assignment.
TheBrain’s argument that the patent was assigned by operation of law upon dissolution of Natrificial failed. It appeared to be an issue of first impression in California, and TheBrain failed to cite a single instance of California’s law acting to transfer a patent upon dissolution. The Court, therefore, dismissed the case without prejudice.