Digest of Vermont v. MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC, No. 2014-1481 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 14, 2014) (precedential). On petition for Writ of Mandamus from D. Vt. Before Prost,Newman, and Hughes.

Procedural Posture: Vermont sued patent holder MPHJ in Vermont state court. MPHJ removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont asserting federal question jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction. Vermont moved to remand the case back to state court, which the district court granted. MPHJ petitioned the CAFC for a Writ of Mandamus and appealed the order remanding case to state court. CAFC dismissed the petition and appeal because it lacked jurisdiction.

  • Jurisdiction (Appellate Jurisdiction): Vermont sued MPHJ for sending letters to businesses requesting that the recipients confirm that they were not infringing MPHJ’s patents or, alternatively, purchase a license. When a recipient did not respond, a Texas law firm sent a follow-up letter stating that a patent infringement suit would be filed. After MPHJ removed to the case to federal district court, the district court remanded it to state court because the complaint did not raise a substantial question of patent law, and because Vermont was targeting bad faith conduct independent of patent law. Since the district court stated that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction, the CAFC held that it did not have jurisdiction to review the remand decision pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1447(d), which precludes appellate review.