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Ali v. Carnegie Institution of Washington

United States District Court, D. Oregon

November 25, 2013

MUSSA ALI, Plaintiff,
v.
CARNEGIE INSTITUTION OF WASHINGTON, and UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS, Defendants

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For Plaintiff: Joseph W. Berenato III, and Steven B. Kelber, Berenato & White, LLC, Bethesda, MD; Joel P. Leonard, and John D. Ostrander, Elliott, Ostrander & Preston, P.C., Portland, OR.

For Defendants: Kurt G. Calia, Covington & Burling LLP, Redwood Shores, CA; Alexa R. Hansen, and Nathan E. Shafroth, Covington & Burling, LLP, San Francisco, CA; Kelly M. Jaske, Jaske Law LLC, Portland, OR.

OPINION

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OPINION AND ORDER

Michael H. Simon, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Mussa Ali (" Ali" ) brings this lawsuit against Defendants Carnegie Institution of Washington (" Carnegie" ) and University of Massachusetts (" UMass" ) (collectively " Defendants" ) to correct the inventorship of five issued patents related to gene silencing. In an earlier Opinion and Order, the Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss UMass as immune fro suit and deferred ruling on the remainder of Defendants' motion. Dkts. 18, 41. For the reasons stated below, Ali's Motion for Reconsideration re Waiver of Sovereign Immunity (Dkt. 45) is DENIED; Defendant Carnegie's Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's Order Granting in Part Plaintiff's Motion for Jurisdictional Discovery is GRANTED (Dkt. 46); and Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or Strike Plaintiff's Amended Complaint (Dkt. 18) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED AS MOOT IN PART. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), the Court TRANSFERS this case to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

BACKGROUND

This case arises out of Ali's claim that he was erroneously omitted as a named inventor on five patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 6,506,559; 7,538,095; 7,560,438; 7,622,633 and 8,283,329. Dkt. 4 at ¶ ¶ 3, 25-26. Defendants are owners, by assignment, of the patents at issue. Id . at ¶ ¶ 3-4.

Defendants move to dismiss or strike Ali's First Amended Complaint. Dkt. 18. On May 28, 2013, the Court issued an Opinion and Order resolving some of the issues in this case and setting a procedure for resolving the remaining issues. Dkt. 41. In that Opinion and Order, the Court dismissed UMass because it was entitled to sovereign immunity, and the Court granted in part jurisdictional discovery, which the Court temporarily stayed. Subsequently, and in accordance with the Court's request, the parties briefed whether UMass is a " required party." In addition to briefing whether UMass is a " required party," Carnegie argued that Ali lacks standing to bring this lawsuit. Carnegie also submitted a motion asking the Court to reconsider its grant of jurisdictional discovery. Ali submitted a motion requesting that the Court reconsider its finding that UMass is entitled to sovereign immunity.

Remaining to be decided by the Court are the following issues: (1) whether Ali has standing to bring suit pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 256; (2) the motion to reconsider UMass's sovereign immunity; (3) the motion to reconsider jurisdictional discovery; (4) the motion to dismiss the suit because the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over the Defendants; and (5) the motion to dismiss the suit because UMass is a necessary party that cannot be joined.

DISCUSSION

Carnegie asserts three independent grounds for complete dismissal of this case.

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First, Carnegie argues that Ali's arguments regarding whether UMass is a necessary party demonstrate that Ali lacks standing to bring this lawsuit. Second, Carnegie argues that because the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over it, this case must be dismissed under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2). Third, Carnegie argues that UMass, which the Court previously dismissed, is a required party that cannot be joined; thus, the case must be dismissed pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(7). In the alternative to these three arguments for complete dismissal, Carnegie contends that Ali's second count and alternative second count must be dismissed for failure to state a claim pursuant to ...


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