Xitronix Corp. v. KLA-Tencor Corp., No. 16-2746 (Fed. Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
Xitronix filed, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, a “Walker Process” monopolization claim under section 2 of the Sherman Act and sections 4 and 6 of the Clayton Act based on the alleged fraudulent prosecution of a patent. The parties believed that the Federal Circuit had jurisdiction over an appeal under 28 U.S.C. 1295(a)(1). The Federal Circuit transferred the case to the Fifth Circuit, citing the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision, Gunn v. Minton. The Xitronix complaint alleges that KLA “engaged in exclusionary conduct by fraudulently prosecuting to issuance the [’]260 patent” and its conduct “was and is specifically intended to monopolize and destroy competition in the market” and alleges KLA intentionally made false representations to the Patent Office on which the examiner relied during prosecution. On the face of the complaint, no allegation establishes “that federal patent law creates the cause of action.” The only question is whether the monopolization allegation “necessarily depends on resolution of a substantial question of federal patent law, in that patent law is a necessary element of one of the well-pleaded claims.” There is nothing unique to patent law about allegations of false statements.