Jurisdiction over Foreign Patents Requires ? 1367(c) Analysis
February 02, 2007
The question before the Federal Circuit in Jan K. Voda, M.D. v. Cordis Corporation was whether where an accused infringer is shown to have moved its infringing activities offshore to Germany, the U.K. and elsewhere, does supplemental jurisdiction of the court, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ? 1367, permit an infringement determination under the parallel foreign patents, where all patents originate from a single Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) application and have similar claims? As way of background, Dr. Voda held patents in the U.S., and through the PCT, relating generally to guiding catheters for use in interventional cardiology. Voda first sued Cordis, a U.S. based entity incorporated in Florida, for infringement of its U.S. patents in the Western District of Oklahoma and then moved to amend his complaint to add claims of infringement of the European, British, Canadian, French, and German foreign patents. Cordis opposed Voda's attempt to amend its complaint to add foreign patent infringement claims on the basis that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over such claims. The district court ultimately granted Voda's motion to amend, and Cordis subsequently appealed to the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit held the district court abused its discretion in granting leave to amend based on 28 U.S.C. ? 1367(c), vacated the order, and remanded for further proceedings. In summary, the basis for the Federal Circuit's holding was that the district court failed to perform the required analysis pursuant to ? 1367(c) for considerations of comity; judicial economy, convenience, fairness, and other exceptional circumstances. To read the full decision in Voda, M.D. v. Cordis Corp., click here.
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