• Sep 5 2019
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  • Category: CAFC Updates

The University of Texas (UT) and TissueGen sued Boston Scientific for infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,596,296 and 7,033,603, which are directed to implantable drug-releasing biodegradable fibers. The district court determined that venue was improper and transferred the case to the District of Delaware. UT, acting as an arm of the State of Texas, appeals the district court’s transfer order on several grounds relating to its rights as a sovereign entity. The CAFC holds that, as a threshold matter, they have jurisdiction to hear this appeal under the collateral order doctrine because UT challenges the district court’s transfer order based on state sovereignty and the district court’s transfer order fits within the small class of judgments excepted from the final judgment rule. On the merits, the CAFC concludes that the state sovereignty principles asserted by UT do not grant it the right to bring suit in an otherwise improper venue, noting that when a State voluntarily appears in federal court, as UT has done here, it voluntarily invokes the federal court’s jurisdiction, and must then abide by federal rules and procedures—including venue rules—like any other plaintiff. Accordingly, the CAFC affirms.

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