StemCells Loses Its Leg To Stand On In Patent Dispute With Neuralstem
July 28, 2015 (Mimesis Law) — Inventorship disputes in patent cases are always interesting. Difficult for investors to follow as well, since the law on co-inventorship can be in flux, and every case turns on subjective and fact-specific rulings by a judge. What is clear, however, is that unless all the “owners” of a patent are acting as plaintiffs in a patent infringement action, there is no standing and the defendant has the ability to get the case tossed as a result. Investors in StemCells, Inc. (STEM) and Neuralstem (CUR) finally saw a long-running patent infringement case resolved last week, culminating a decade-long saga in which the parties disputed whether a third doctor was entitled to be named as a co-inventor on patents owned and asserted by StemCells Inc. The judge found that he was, and as a result dismissed the case against Neuralstem for lack of standing.
It is likely that StemCells will appeal the ruling, and investors should continue to monitor this legal situation closely. This competitor case, between two small companies in a nascent technology area, presents an interesting dynamic, as illustrated by the post-decision charts for the companies. Neuralstem investors will likely laud this development as the removal of an overhang, and continue to hope that scientific and clinical trial progress continues for the company. While StemCells investors are undoubtedly disappointed in this setback, they also will like to see the discussion shift to the company’s business prospects as it continues to develop its own offerings. At least until the next legal development.
The Week(s) Ahead — Expected Events
- Parkervision and Marvell CAFC decisions – TBD
Hopefully you have had a chance to catch our “Markman Minute” videos (available at www.mimesislaw.com/intellectual-property) for a deeper look at some of the biggest current patent stories of interest to investors. Finally, we want your feedback and suggestions, so feel free to send it along to email@example.com or to @markmanadvisors on Twitter. You can also visit our website at www.markmanadvisors.com. Questions from the readership are always welcome as well; we will try to get you answers in future issues of the Markman Note.
Disclosures and Disclaimers:
Nothing in this material is intended to constitute legal or investment advice of any kind, nor is any of this material based on any non-public information of any kind. In addition to my work at Markman Advisors, I am also a name partner at a NYC-based intellectual property litigation boutique firm, Kroub Silbersher & Kolmykov PLLC (www.kskiplaw.com). Markman Advisors is affiliated with a Houston-based investment management firm, Perdix Capital Management, which may have existing or potential positions relating to situations discussed in this material. Markman Advisors also provides consulting services to buy-side investors, including hedge funds and family offices, that may also have or enter into positions relating to situations discussed in this material.
Main image of human embryonic stem cells via Wikimedia Commons