Our weekly SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, February 25, 2013 will be a discussion of a Supreme Court case regarding the jurisdiction for patent malpractice cases and a case regarding the doctrine of equivalents.

Gunn v. Minton, Case No. 11-1118 (S.Ct. Feb. 20, 2013) (available here)

28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) provides federal district courts with exclusive jurisdiction over patent cases. In Gunn v. Minton, the Supreme Court held that § 1338(a) does not deprive the state courts of subject matter jurisdiction over plaintiff’s state law claim alleging legal malpractice in the handling of his patent case, where: 1) resolution of a federal patent question is “necessary” to plaintiff’s case; 2) the federal issue of the experimental-use exception is also “actually disputed” here; but 3) the federal issue in this case is not substantial in the relevant sense; and 4) there is no serious federal interest in claiming the advantages thought to be inherent in a federal forum.

Brilliant Instruments, Inc. v. Guidetech, Case No. 12-1018 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 20, 2013) (available here)

In Brilliant Instruments Inc. v. Guidetech, the Federal Circuit reversed the district court’s summary judgment ruling of non-infringement. Specifically, the Federal Circuit ruled that summary judgment that plaintiff did not infringe defendant’s patents relating to circuits that measure the timing errors of digital signals in high-speed microprocessors, is reversed and remanded, where: 1) there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether plaintiff’s products literally infringe the ‘231 patent claims; and 2) plaintiff’s products do not do not literally infringe on the ‘671 and ‘649 patents, but defendant has created a genuine issue of material fact as to infringement under the doctrine of equivalents theory.

All are invited to join us in our discussion during the SoCal IP Institute meeting on Monday, February 25, 2013 at Noon in our Westlake Village office. This activity is approved for 1 hour of MCLE credit. If you will be joining us, please RSVP to Noelle Attalla by 9 am Monday morning.