February 5, 2007

CAFC rules in favor of Willkie client Cordis Corporation in patent infringement case.

On February 1, Willkie client Cordis Corporation, a Johnson & Johnson company, won a highly contested decision from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding whether a U.S. District Court may exercise supplemental jurisdiction over foreign patent infringement claims.  In a 54-page decision, including a 23-page dissent, the CAFC vacated the order granting leave to amend the complaint to add claims of infringement of five foreign patents, and remanded to the District Court.  The CAFC stated: “We find that considerations of comity, judicial economy, convenience, fairness and other exceptional circumstances constitute compelling reasons to decline jurisdiction under §1367(c) in this case and therefore, hold that the district court abused its discretion by assuming jurisdiction.”  Cordis’ position was supported by amicus curiae briefs filed by the Department of Justice and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Circuit Bar Association, the American Intellectual Properly Law Association and the Intellectual Property Owners Association.  This case, with important implications for patent litigation, was identified by IP Law & Business as a 2007 “Case to Watch.”  The matter was handled by partners John DiMatteo and Kelsey Nix, and associates Diane Ragosa and Alexander Swirnoff.

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