Dr. Voda – veni, vidi – Vamoosed.

What the CAFC would do with the supplemental jurisdiction issue in Voda v. Cordis was hard to predict. Congress used the broadest words, “all other claims” in 28 U.S.C. 1367(a), which the further provision, of being “related” so as to “form part of the same case or controversy under Article III,” did not narrow. What ground then was there for the CAFC to limit or constrict the grant of supplemental jurisdiction over Dr. Voda’s claim that Cordis was infringing his corresponding foreign patents.  Turns out, the CAFC had to agree that nothing “expressly strips federal courts of supplemental jurisidction of {sic} claims arising under either foreign patents or foreign laws,” and that Section 1367 “supplemental jurisdiction appears to include foreign law claims.” Consequently, the majority of 2 must opt to “refrain from deciding whether Voda’s patent infringement claims fall within the scope of the ‘same case or controversy’ requirment” of Section 1367(a). Maybe they rendered dicta in a pure form (or stirred it in muddied waters), but the ruling could not say, that there can be no “case or controversy” jurisdiction over claims in our courts based on foreign patents.The next part of the decision was a needless exercise in assessing the discretion by which supplemental jurisdiction “may” be declined per Section 1367(c). Needless, because about ten times, the panel states that the district court made “no findings” about discretionary considerations, did “not articulate” any, did “not find” any – why then, and based on what record, does the panel come forward with fifteen pages of reasons why declining jurisdiction would have been the better part of “discretion”?  Just say, no findings were made – remanded; or say, we review, not decide – vacated and remanded. They would so hold in your case, and in my case, but did not in Dr. Voda’s case.The section of the opinion on discretion to decline reads like that Civ. Proc. outline everyone may once have had, or had to use for a bar exam. The “supremacy” of treaty-made law, “comity,” the “local action” and “act of state” doctrines, construction of “ambiguous statutes to avoid unreasonable interference with [other] sovereign[s],” “respect for …tribal sovereignity,” “abstention”, and of course, those tenets as might be applied to “principles of pendent and ancillary jurisdiction.”  The metaphor is a non-swimmer reaching for any rope.If you are not warm to the idea of reading 56 pages of reasons, which divide and replicate through some sort of judicial mitosis, then here is why the majority of 2 holds against supplemental jurisdiction – they don’t want foreign courts hearing issues of U.S. patent law. “Foreign courts exercising jurisdiction over claims based on U.S. patents would destroy Congress’s intent to foster uniformity and to preclude forum shopping.” All that quote needs is a cite to 28 U.S.C. 1295, and maybe a hyperlink to the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag of the Continental Navy Marines.In all, the decision in Dr. Voda’s case really decides nothing in principle, but only rattles off a lot of surficial reasoning to bridge to the conclusion that keeping foreign patents out of U.S. courts might engender comity in foreign courts, who would decline to adjudicate cases involving U.S. patents.

As in many prior cases, I commend Judge Newman for applying the law as written, and rebutting the expressed reasons of the majority of 2. To her rebuttal I might add, if U.S. courts do not or should not “interpret” foreign patents, in foreign languages, then what has been going on in cases since 1952 where validity is challenged with Section 102(d) patents from a “foreign country”?