Saturday, February 10, 2018

Jurisdiction at CAFC via Walker Process denied in XITRONIX CORP. v. KLA-TENCOR CORP.

The CAFC noted:

There is nothing unique to patent law about allegations
of false statements. Indeed, in responding to the
court’s order to show cause, the parties both cited portions
of the complaint that focus on fraud and misrepresentation,
not patent law. See, e.g., Xitronix Supp. Br. (Sept.
26, 2017) at 4–5 (“KLA-Tencor affirmatively (and repeatedly)
misrepresented the patentability of the claims it
sought, including making false representations about
what was taught by the relevant prior art.”); KLA Supp.
Br. (Sept. 26, 2017) at 8–9 (“KLA’s prosecution and procurement
of the [’]260 patent was undertaken in bad faith
in order to monopolize the . . . market.”). We acknowledge
that a determination of the alleged misrepresentations to
the PTO will almost certainly require some application of
patent law.


The underlying patent issue in this case, while important
to the parties and necessary for resolution of the
claims, does not present a substantial issue of patent law.
See id. at 263–64. There is no dispute over the validity of
the claims—patent law is only relevant to determine if
KLA intentionally made misrepresentations. Patent
claims will not be invalidated or revived based on the
result of this case. Because Federal Circuit law applies to
substantive questions involving our exclusive jurisdiction,
the fact that at least some Walker Process claims may be
appealed to the regional circuits will not undermine our
uniform body of patent law. See Golan v. Pingel Enter.,
Inc., 310 F.3d 1360, 1368 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (“Federal Circuit
law applies to causes of action within the exclusive
jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit.”); Mars Inc. v. Kabushiki-Kaisha
Nippon Conlux, 24 F.3d 1368, 1371 (Fed.
Cir. 1994) (Deference to regional circuit law “is inappropriate
when an issue involves substantive questions
coming exclusively within our jurisdiction, the disposition
of which would have a direct bearing on the outcome.”
(internal citations and quotation marks omitted)).


Both Nobelpharma and Cipro were decided before the
Supreme Court decided Gunn. To the extent our prior
precedent could be interpreted contrary to Gunn, the
Supreme Court rendered that interpretation invalid.
While the parties argue Gunn is inapplicable because it
concerns district court jurisdiction over state claims, the
indistinguishable statutory language of §§ 1295 and 1338
requires our careful consideration of Gunn in interpreting
our jurisdictional statute. “[W]e have no more authority
to read § 1295(a)(1) as granting the Federal Circuit jurisdiction
over an appeal where the well-pleaded complaint
does not depend on patent law, than to read § 1338(a) as
granting a district court jurisdiction over such a complaint.”
Christianson, 486 U.S. at 814 (citing Pratt v.
Paris Gas Light & Coke Co., 168 U.S. 255, 259 (1897)); see
also id. at 808–09 (noting “linguistic consistency” with the
statute for a district court’s federal question jurisdiction
demands a similar application for the Federal Circuit’s
“arising under” jurisdiction).


Post a Comment

<< Home