A quick update for those interested in the Apple-Motorola Federal Circuit FRAND appeal:

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Gunn v. Minton, where the Court determined that a plaintiff’s patent litigation-related state law malpractice claim did not “arise under” the federal patent laws and did not create federal jurisdiction under

CAFCToday, Motorola Mobility filed a reply brief in support of its efforts to dismiss Apple’s Federal Circuit FRAND appeal (or at least transfer it to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals).  As you’ll recall, a few weeks ago, Motorola filed a unique motion to dismiss Apple’s appeal, claiming  the Federal Circuit lacked jurisdiction because (for more info, see our original post on Motorola’s motion).  Apple filed an opposition, asserting that the case was properly appealed to the Federal Circuit.  In its relatively short reply, Motorola targets two particular assertions that Apple claims vest the Federal Circuit with jurisdiction: (1) that Apple’s declaratory judgment complaint was filed “in response” to a hypothetical complaint of patent infringement; and (2) that the dismissal of certain Apple claims without prejudice does not divest the Federal Circuit of jurisdiction.


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Yesterday Apple filed its opposition to Motorola’s motion to dismiss or transfer for lack of jurisdiction in Federal Circuit appeal No. 2013-1150.  This is Apple’s appeal of Judge Crabb’s dismissal of the Apple-Motorola FRAND/antitrust action (W.D. Wis. No. 3:10-cv-00178)).  Apple contends that the Federal Circuit has jurisdiction over Apple’s appeal of the dismissal of its declaratory judgment claims because (1) the hypothetical Motorola complaint at which Apple’s declaratory judgment claim was directed would be for patent infringement, and (2) the district’s court’s decision to dismiss the patent-specific DJ claims without prejudice does not deprive the Federal Circuit of jurisdiction.  As we anticipated in our post on Motorola’s motion to dismiss/transfer, some of Apple’s arguments in its opposition raise some interesting questions about whether jurisdiction over this appeal will be consistent with past and potential future appeals of orders in the Microsoft-Motorola RAND case.
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Today, February 5, 2013, in Arkema Inc. v. Honeywell Int’l, Inc., No. 2012-1308, the Federal Circuit (Dyk, Plager, and O’Malley) found that an Article III case or controversy over indirect infringement liability existed between two competitors in the automobile refrigerant market.  This case provides incremental insight into the circumstances under which a

CAFC

Motorola and Apple are currently facing off over patent-related issues in several ongoing judicial proceedings, including multiple appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  One of these Federal Circuit appeals was brought by Apple over Judge Crabb’s dismissal of Apple’s claims that Motorola violated the antitrust laws and breached its contracts with SSOs in conducting its SEP-related licensing and enforcement activities.  But on January 25, Motorola filed a motion with the Federal Circuit to dismiss Apple’s appeal (or transfer it to the Seventh Circuit), asserting that the Federal Circuit lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.  While at first blush this seems like just a mundane dispute over civil procedure issues, a decision on this motion may have significant consequences for future FRAND-related proceedings.


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Today, Mon., Mar. 26, 2012, in 3M v. Avery, No. 2011-1339, the Federal Circuit (Rader, Lourie and Linn) reversed a district court’s ruling that it lacked declaratory judgment jurisdiction over a patent action.  This case provides insight into the fine line walked when discussing patents with a party without creating sufficient grounds for them to seek a declaratory judgment action.
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