Category: Constitutional Law
By: Jesus Hernandez, Blog Editor/Contributor
|Title||Stauffer v. Brooks. Bros. Group, No. 2013-1180 (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2014).|
|Issue||After the AIA became law and eliminated the qui tam provision of the false-marking statute, Mr. Stauffer acknowledged that he no longer had standing to pursue his lawsuit [which was initially brought prior to enactment of the AIA]. The district court subsequently issued an order directing him to show cause why, in light of the AIA, his suit should not be dismissed for lack of standing. Mr. Stauffer responded by arguing that the AIA amendments were unconstitutional because  they amounted to a pardon by Congress, thus violating the doctrine of separation of powers. He also argued  that, by making the elimination of the qui tam provision applicable to pending suits, the statute violated the common-law principle that prohibits use of a pardon to vitiate a qui tam action once the action has commenced.|
Stauffer at *3 (text added).
| We […] conclude that the AIA amendment to the false-marking statute that eliminated liability for expired patents does not constitute an impermissible pardon [because the amendments amount to a repeal of a law, and not an attempt to set aside an already adjudicated punishment].|
Id. at *11-12.
| [W]e conclude that the AIA amendments do not violate the common-law principle on which Mr. Stauffer relies because (1) he has no vested rights in his lawsuit, and (2) the AIA amendments do not constitute a pardon. |
Id. at *12.