Memorylink Corp. v. Motorola, Inc., No. 08 C 3301, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Oct. 15, 2009) (Hibbler, J.)
Judge Hibbler granted in part plaintiff Memorylink’s motion for reconsideration of the Court’s earlier opinion dismissing seventeen of Memorylink’s nineteen claims.
Correction of Inventorship
The Court previously held that Memorylink pled itself out of court because its complaint indicated that Memorylink was silent when Motorola gave Memorylink the opportunity to object to inventorship of the patents. But upon reconsideration, the Court reversed its decision for two reasons. First, the pleadings did not show whether Memorylink reviewed or approved the patent application. Second, the patent statute allowed for correction based upon mistake. It was possible Memorylink reviewed the application; but made a mistake regarding inventorship.
Statutes of Limitation
The Court held that it was correct in dismissing Memorylink’s claim based upon Motorola’s legal representation of Memorylink because Memorylink knew of its claims prior to the legal representation. One dismissed claim, however, was not based upon the legal representation. The Court treated Memorylink’s claim that the assignment at issue was void as a fraud claim. But the Court held that the claim sounded in contract, not fraud. Because the contract statute of limitation had not run, that claim was reinstated.
Because Memorylink’s contract claim could void the patent assignment, the Court reinstituted the related patent infringement claims which had been dismissed upon the basis that as a joint owner of the patents Motorola could not be liable for infringement. In the event that the assignment is held void, Motorola could be liable for infringement.
Motorola’s agreement that the memoranda of understanding at issue in this claim did not create any legal obligations did not change the Court’s determination that they created relevant legal obligations.