Dominion sued Masimo and co-defendant Cercacor Laboratories on May 30, 2012, alleging infringement of 3 patents covering methods for non-invasively testing blood analyte concentration. Dominion assigned the patents, licensed from Diasense, to Acacia Patent Acquisition in 2010, according to court documents.
Dominion claimed it dissolved that deal on March 30, 2012, but produced no documents to back up that claim, according to the documents. In fact, Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the U.S. District Court for Northern California found, Dominion and Acacia did not terminate their deal until April 18, 2014, nearly 2 years after the lawsuit was filed.
"Thus, in the absence of any evidence of court-ordered rescission, the court rejects plaintiff’s argument that legal title to the patents-in-suit reverted to plaintiff on March 30, 2012, when it attempted to unilaterally terminate the assignment agreement," Freeman wrote. "[T]he court concludes that plaintiff has failed to establish that it had standing to bring this lawsuit for patent infringement. While it is undisputed that plaintiff now holds legal title to the patents-in-suit, plaintiff has not satisfied its burden to demonstrate that it held legal title at the inception of this lawsuit on May 30, 2012."
Freeman dismissed the lawsuit without leave to amend, but left the door open for Dominion to file another lawsuit now that it actually owns the patent.
"The case is dismissed without prejudice to the extent that this ruling does not bar plaintiff from asserting a patent infringement claim against defendants now that it holds legal title," she wrote.