U of Texas Can’t Be Pulled Into Patent Suit, Fed. Cir. Says

Written July 28, 2020

The University of Texas (UT) can’t be added as an involuntary plaintiff in an infringement suit over two medical treatment patents because of sovereign immunity, the Federal Circuit said on July 24, 2020. Gensetix, Inc. v. Baylor College of Medicine, Fed. Cir., No. 19-1424, 7/24/20.

UT licensed its cancer-treatment patent to Gensetix. The agreement allowed the university to keep an interest in the patents and the right to income, and it required Gensetix to sue for infringement.

Gensetix later alleged the creator of the technology infringed its patent rights by continuing to practice the methods at Baylor with Diakonos Research Ltd. When the University of Texas refused to help it enforce the patents, Gensetix joined it as an involuntary plaintiff. 

The Federal Circuit rejected Gensetix’s attempt “to drag an unwilling UT into federal court.” The university didn’t initiate the suit and “in fact, has repeatedly made clear that it does not want to participate in this litigation,” the court said.