Amity Rubberized Pen Co. v. Mkt. Quest Grp.

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Patents
  • Date Filed: 07-13-2015
  • Case #: 13-55796
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Tashima for the Court; Circuit Judges Nguyen and Tallman
  • Full Text Opinion

Patent claims fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit, the court of appeals has no authority to decide a patent case on its merits. However, the court of appeals has the authority to transfer a case to the Federal Circuit if that court would have had jurisdiction at the time of filing and the transfer is in the interest of justice.

In September 2006, Amity Rubberized Pen Company (“Amity”) sued Market Quest Group (“Market Quest”) in district court for patent infringement and several other federal and state law claims. The court declared a mistrial and ordered Amity to pay Market Quest’s costs and fees. Following Amity’s failure to pay, the court dismissed the case with prejudice. In January 2013, Amity again filed suit against Market Quest alleging claims similar to those in the 2006 suit. Market Quest moved to dismiss, arguing Amity’s suit was barred by res judicata. The district court again dismissed Amity’s claims. Amity appealed. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit held that because patent claims fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal Circuit, it did not have authority to decide the case on its merits. However, the panel held that it has the authority to transfer a case to the Federal Circuit if that court would have had jurisdiction at the time of filing and the transfer is in the interest of justice. The panel further explained that any case that meets the first requirement regarding timing and is not frivolous or brought it bad faith should be heard to uphold the interest of justice. Due to this case having been inappropriately filed in the district court, but suffered no other deficiencies, the Federal Circuit should hear the case. TRANSFERRED.

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