You get sued and you’re thinking you’ll ultimately win big. Exceptional case. Fees shifted. And you do, and you get an award of $3 million in your favor. But, the patentee is basically a shell and so after a year of trying, you decide to go after its owners, allegedly its alter ego.
Federal courts have power to assist in executing judgments, but state law must authorize the procedures used, and not all states allow for joinder of non-parties after final judgment. In Vehicle Interface Tech., LLC v. Jaguar Land Rover North Am., LLC (D. Del. Dec. 14, 2017), the court held that the defendant failed to show that Delaware law permitted joinder under those circumstances, and so the $3 million judgment seems, it seems, worthless. The case is here.
So, although it seems weird, perhaps you need to join owners of patent owners….