In an amicus brief, the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) urges the U.S. Supreme Court to scale back the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals’ view of jurisdiction over state-law claims that involve patent-law issues. Gunn v. Minton, No. 11-1118 (U.S., AIPLA amicus brief filed, November 26, 2012). Additional information about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review a Texas Supreme Court ruling dismissing a legal malpractice action arising out of patent-infringement litigation appears in Issue 44 of this Bulletin.
AIPLA catalogs the types of state-law claims involving patent-law issues over which the Federal Circuit has exercised jurisdiction since the U.S. Supreme Court decided Christianson v. Colt Industries Operating Corp., 486 U.S. 800 (1988); the Federal Circuit apparently interpreted that opinion “as providing a ‘lenient standard’ for jurisdiction.” According to AIPLA, “Unless this Court overrules the Federal Circuit’s post-Christianson precedent, that precedent will continue to cause the district courts to exercise jurisdiction over various state-law claims merely because those claims raise a patent-law issue. This diminishes the right of litigants to select a forum based on the traditional well-pleaded complaint rule.”