On June 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) transferred Ronald Chandler et. al. v. Phoenix Services, LLC to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit due to lack of jurisdiction, since the case did not arise under the patent laws of the United States. The CAFC previously affirmed a holding that U.S. Patent No. 8,171,993 (‘993 patent) was unenforceable due to inequitable conduct because Heat On-The-Fly, the company that filed for the ‘993 patent, knowingly didn’t disclose prior uses of the process. The plaintiffs, Chandler Manufacturing and Supertherm Fluid Heating Services (collectively Chandler), alleged that the defendant, Phoenix Services, continued enforcement of the ‘933 patent on their website and that this conduct constituted an antitrust violation under Walker Process Equipment, Inc. v. Food Machinery & Chemical Corp., 382 U.S. 172 (1965), a 1965 Supreme Court decision that held that enforcement of a patent procured by fraud on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) can be the basis for an antitrust claim.
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