Digest of U.S. Water Servs., Inc. v. Chemtreat, Inc., No. 2013-1236 (Fed. Cir. July 10, 2014) (nonprecedential). On appeal from D. Minn. Before Reyna, Walach, and Hughes.Per curiam.

Procedural Posture: Plaintiff filed complaint for misappropriation of trade secrets under state law, and defendant counterclaimed for declaratory judgment of noninfringement and invalidity of plaintiff’s patent related to the technology at issue. The parties settled the trade secret claim. District court denied plaintiff’s motion to dismiss counterclaims and granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment of noninfringement. Plaintiff appealed district court’s grant of motion for summary judgment. CAFC transferred appeal and all other pending motions relating to the case to the Eighth Circuit.

  • Appellate Jurisdiction: Under 28 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1), the CAFC has exclusive jurisdiction of an appeal from district court’s final decision if the jurisdiction of district court was based on 28 U.S.C. § 1338. Section 1338 gives district courts original jurisdiction of civil actions arising under the patent law. The CAFC held that it lacked jurisdiction over the appeal because, applying the well-pleaded-complaint rule, appellant’s complaint for misappropriation of trade secrets under Minnesota law does not arise under the patent laws, and the district court’s jurisdiction was based not on § 1338 but rather on diversity.

Hui Li