AIA revisions to false marking statute not unconstitutional


Federal Circuit affirms dismissal of qui tam false marking case, filed before AIA enactment, for lack of standing.

Stauffer v. Brooks Brothers Grp., Inc., ___F.3d ___ (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2014) (Lourie, SCHALL, Moore) (S.D.N.Y.: Stein) (1 of 5 stars)

Mr. Stauffer argued for unconstitutionality of the AIA provisions permitting marking with expired patent numbers, eliminating the false-marking statute's qui tam provision, and doing so for all pending cases.  He had standing under Lujan to present such an appeal: if he won on both issues, his qui tam suit could move forward and a favorable decision would address his alleged injury.

The AIA's false-marking revision was better characterized as repealing a law (which Congress can do) than invoking the executive pardoning power (which Congress cannot usurp).  Under Landgraf, such repeals generally preclude punishment for acts taken before the repeal.

The AIA's elimination of the qui tam action for pending cases was also not unconstitutional. Mr. Stauffer had no vested right in his litigation, nor were the AIA amendments an unconstitutional use of the pardon power.

Mr. Stauffer waived other constitutional and quasi-constitutional arguments by not raising them before the district court.