'Interpretive Necromancy' or Prudent Patent Policy? The Supreme Court's 'Arising Under' Blunder in Holmes Group V. Vornado
John Marshall Review of Intellectual Property Law, Vol. 2, p. 57, 2002
16 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2009
The startling result of Holmes Group v. Vornado is that for the first time since the Federal Circuit's creation twenty years ago, the regional circuit courts of appeal will be asked to resolve patent law-based claims (i.e., causes of action), not merely the occasional patent law-based issue that might be tangentially encountered in non-patent actions. The decision in Holmes Group resurrects the specter of regional circuit-specific, non-uniform patent jurisprudence and the potential for forum shopping that entails, the very problems that the Federal Circuit was created to remedy. By narrowly construing statutory text and nonanalogous judicial decisions while purposefully ignoring the legislative intent expressed in the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982, the Supreme Court in Holmes Group has frustrated Congress's goal of creating a more uniform and stable patent law jurisprudence.
Keywords: patent jurisprudence, forum shopping, patent law jurisprudence, Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982, jurisdiction, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, judicial procedure, choice of law, arising under
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