IP Malpractice Suits Belong In State Court, Justices Rule

By Ryan Davis (February 20, 2013, 7:16 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that legal malpractice suits involving patents should nearly always be heard in state court, a decision that overturns Federal Circuit precedent and will mean the loss of a body of cases that has helped shape the law.

The court reversed a decision that the federal courts had jurisdiction over a suit by inventor Vernon Minton alleging that his attorneys had mishandled an infringement suit. It concluded that unless a malpractice case raises issues "significant to the federal system as a whole," it belongs in state court.

The opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts made...

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