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Court Transfers Appeal Arising out of Antitrust Complaint to Eleventh Circuit

July 02, 2002

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Last Month at the Federal Circuit - August 2002

Judges: Gajarsa (author), Michel, and Lourie

In Telcomm Technical Services, Inc. v. Siemens Rolm Communications, Inc., No. 00-1579 (Fed. Cir. July 2, 2002), the Federal Circuit transferred an appeal concerning monopolization and attempted monopolization claims under the Sherman Act to the Eleventh Circuit for lack of jurisdiction.

Telcomm Technical Services, Inc. and several other Plaintiffs (collectively referred to as the “ISOs”) appealed a SJ in favor of Siemens Rolm Communications, Inc. (“Rolm”) on the ISOs’ monopolization and attempted monopolization claims under the Sherman Act. Rolm had brought copyright and patent-infringement counterclaims, which resulted in a jury verdict in Rolm’s favor.

The Federal Circuit ruled that when the ISOs originally filed this appeal, the Federal Circuit’s jurisdiction was predicated on the patent-infringement counterclaims, consistent with Federal Circuit precedent. However, since then, in Holmes Group, Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation Systems, Inc., _ U.S. _, 122 S. Ct. 1889 (June 3, 2002), the Supreme Court has held that the well-pleaded complaint rule endorses no necromancy that would vest the statutory phrase “arising under” with a meaning that encompasses appellate jurisdiction for a case to be heard in the Federal Circuit based on a patent-infringement counterclaim. The Federal Circuit concluded, sua sponte, therefore, that it lacked jurisdiction over the appeal and transferred the case to the Eleventh Circuit.