Case: Wawrzynski v. H.J. Heinz Co., et al., No. 2012-1624 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 6, 2013). On appeal from W.D. Pa. Before Newman, Plager, and Prost.
Procedural Posture: Plaintiff appealed the district court’s summary judgment that his state law claims were preempted, and also the district court’s ruling that it had subject-matter jurisdiction. CAFC requested sua sponte that the parties address the CAFC’s appellate jurisdiction.
- Appellate Jurisdiction: The CAFC had no jurisdiction because the original complaint did not assert patent infringement under the “well-pleaded complaint” rule. The post-America Invents Act (AIA) version of 28 U.S.C. § 1295, which applies to “any civil action commenced on or after the date of the enactment of [the] Act,” September 16, 2011, did not apply because the original complaint was filed prior to this date. Thus, even though a post-September 16 counterclaim alleged non-infringement and patent invalidity, the counterclaim did not confer appellate jurisdiction because the AIA version of § 1295, which gives the CAFC jurisdiction over appeals based on civil actions in which a party has asserted a compulsory counterclaim arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, did not apply. Further, the counterclaim did not represent “evolving circumstances,” which involves cases in which a claim is deemed to be part of the pleadings because the parties have consented to litigate it, because Plaintiff’s actions showed that he did not consent.