For nearly two decades, the Federal Circuit has applied a lenient standard for federal jurisdiction that routinely sweeps state law claims into the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts merely because the claims require resolution of patent-law issues. The latest casualties of the Federal Circuit's approach are state-law malpractice claims against patent attorneys. The Federal Circuit has held that such claims are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal courts if resolution of a patent-law issue is necessary to resolve the claim.
The Supreme Court recently granted certiorari in one such malpractice case, Gunn v. Minton, and held, in a unanimous decision, that the malpractice claim was not properly in federal court even though it raised an issue of patent law.
Originally published in New Matter - Volume 38, Number 1.
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