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Standing

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Standing is a legal term for having sufficient basis to make a claim in court. For a silly example, I can't enforce Microsoft's patents in court. I don't own the patents, so I have no ground to stand on to act as the enforcer.

This excerpt from a Patently-o article provides a good example from a real case (not about software):

Mundi Fomukong is a co-inventor of the patents-in-suit. At the time of the invention, Fomukong was married to Fonda Whitfield. Sometime after the first patents issued, Fomukong and Witfield divorced. Later, the second patent issued; Fomukong formed Enovsys; and he (along with his co-inventor) assigned their rights to the new company. Later, when Enovsys sued Sprint-Nextel, the defendant challenged the case on standing. Sprint's argument is based on the rule that any patent infringement actions must be brought jointly by all co-owners of the patent. Specifically, Sprint argued that Ms. Whitfield retained an interest in the patent rights even after the divorce and, without Ms. Whitfield's support, Enovsys lacked standing.[1]

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  1. http://www.patentlyo.com/patent/2010/08/divorce-and-patents.html


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