The opinion of the court was delivered by: WADDY
Plaintiffs are Public Citizen, Inc., a non-profit taxpaying organization supported by public donations, and seven individual Congressmen. All plaintiffs allege injury as taxpayers and consumers; Congressmen plaintiffs allege injury qua members of Congress.
Defendant is the Administrator of the General Services Administration (GSA) and as such is responsible for the formulation and promulgation of rules and regulations issued by that federal executive agency.
In the complaint, plaintiffs allege that the subject regulations authorize federal agencies to grant greater rights than a non-exclusive license ("exclusive rights") to patents and inventions developed under federally-financed research and development contracts, including the authority to grant such exclusive rights at the time of entering into such contracts, without Congressional approval as required by Article 4, Section 3, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution.
Plaintiff has moved for summary judgment claiming that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that they are entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Defendant has moved, pursuant to Rule 12(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that (1) plaintiffs lack standing to sue and (2) the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. This Court finds that all plaintiffs lack standing to sue and that defendant's motion to dismiss should be granted.
In Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 88 S. Ct. 1942, 20 L. Ed. 2d 947 (1968) the Supreme Court of the United States stated:
"The fundamental aspect of standing is that it focuses on the party seeking to get his complaint before a federal court and not on the issues he wishes to have adjudicated. The 'gist of the question of standing ' is whether the party seeking relief has 'alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the court so largely depends for illumination of difficult constitutional questions.' Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 204 [82 S. Ct. 691, 703, 7 L. Ed. 2d 663] (1962). In other words, when standing is placed in issue in a case, the question is whether the person whose standing is challenged is a proper party to request an adjudication of a particular issue and not whether the issue itself is justiciable." 392 U.S. at 99, 88 S. Ct. at 1952.
In Association of Data Processing Service Organizations, Inc. v. Camp, 397 U.S. 150, 90 S. Ct. 827, 25 L. Ed. 2d 184 (1970), the Supreme Court formulated a dual test for determining standing to sue. This test requires, first, that plaintiffs allege that the challenged acts have caused them "injury in fact, economic or otherwise," 397 U.S. at 152, 90 S. Ct. at 829, and second, that "the interest sought to be protected by the complainant is arguably within the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the statute or constitutional guarantee in question." 397 U.S. at 153, 90 S. Ct. at 830. Or, as the Supreme Court stated in Flast, supra, a "logical nexus between the status asserted and the claim sought to be adjudicated." 392 U.S. at 102, 88 S. Ct. at 1953. This test for the determination of standing was re-affirmed by the Supreme Court in Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 92 S. Ct. 1361, 31 L. Ed. 2d 636 (1972).
Plaintiffs allege, in paragraph 13 of the complaint, that "all of the plaintiffs are harmed as taxpayers because the patents and inventions will be developed at the government's expense, and the Regulations provide for the granting of exclusive rights thereto, without compensation, at the time of entering into the contract." In Flast, supra, the Supreme Court squarely faced the issue of taxpayer standing and found that
"a taxpayer will be the proper party to allege the unconstitutionality only of exercises of congressional power under the taxing and spending clause of Article I, § 8, of the Constitution. It will not be sufficient to allege an incidental expenditure of tax funds in the administration of an essentially regulatory statute." 392 U.S. at 102.
Recently, in the case of Schlesinger v. Reservists Committee to Stop the War, 418 U.S. 208, 94 S. Ct. 2925, 41 L. Ed. 2d 706 (1974), the Court reaffirmed its decision in Flast in agreeing with the holding of Judge Gesell of this Court, Reservists Committee to Stop ...