IP Alerts

IP Alert
IP Alert: Florida Plaintiffs Lack Standing to Challenge the America Invents Act

May 9, 2013

Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered an order dismissing a lawsuit in which the plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The case is Madstad Engineering, Inc. v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The plaintiffs, Madstad Engineering, Inc., and Mark Stadnyk, sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and others, alleging that the AIA was unconstitutional. More specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the AIA was incompatible with the Intellectual Property Clause of the United States Constitution. This clause provides Congress with the power “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to the respective Writings and Discoveries.” Plaintiffs contended that the Constitution requires patents to be granted to the first to invent, not to the first inventor to file as the AIA largely contemplates.

The court did not directly reach the merits of the Constitutional challenge. Rather, on the UPSTO’s motion to dismiss, the court held that the plaintiffs lacked standing to maintain suit. The court dismissed the case on this basis. 

Fitch Even attorneys will continue to monitor the Madstad Engineering case for any appeal. 

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