State Has Immunity In Patent Dispute

    WASHINGTON (CN) – The Federal Circuit allowed California to assert its sovereign immunity in a patent infringement dispute over a method of screening for birth defects in pregnant women.

    Biomedical Patent Management claimed the state’s waiver from a previous related lawsuit carried over to the current complaint because it involves the same subject matter and parties. But a waiver generally does not extend to a separate lawsuit, the circuit ruled, and any unfairness or inconsistency that would arise from permitting the immunity was not so substantial to diverge from that general principle. See ruling in Biomedical Patent Management v. California Department of Health Services.

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