Advanced Video Technologies LLC (AVT), a subsidiary of General Patent Corporation (GPC), announced today that it filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States, asking the Court to review a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decision with far-reaching implications for intellectual property rights in the United States.
AVT commenced the action by filing lawsuits in the Southern District of New York (nos. 1:15-cv-04626-CM)(1:15-cv-04631-CM)(and 1:15-cv-04632-CM) alleging that HTC, Motorola Mobility, and BlackBerry infringed its patent on a full-duplex video chip used in the defendants’ smartphones. The district court found that AVT owned a two-thirds interest in the asserted patent, with the remaining third belonging to a co-inventor, Vivian Hsiun, a disgruntled former employee of the AVT’s predecessor in interest who refused to assign the patent as was required by the terms of her employment agreement. Ms. Hsiun refused to join the suit as a co-plaintiff, and AVT was precluded from involuntarily joining her as a necessary party due to Federal Circuit precedent excluding patent infringement actions from the involuntary joinder provisions of Rule 19 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (the “FRCP”). As a result, the district court dismissed the case for lack of prudential standing, and AVT was left with no recourse.
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