Fed. Circ. Denies USDA Immunity In Grape Patent Suit

Law360, New York (August 24, 2011, 6:37 PM EDT) -- The Federal Circuit on Wednesday reversed a lower court ruling that the U.S. government is immune from facing a suit brought by a trio of grape growers alleging that a California grape trade group violated antitrust laws by licensing invalid patents from the government.

The appeals court said that because the grape growers' lawsuit does not include monetary claims against the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the government's sovereign immunity does not apply and the suit against the California Table Grape Commission may proceed.

Though sovereign immunity...
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