Judge Farnan: Federal Circuit Rule 11 does not confer exclusive jurisdiction over the record on appeal
In Honeywell International Inc., et al. v. Nikon Corporation, et al., C.A. No. 04-1337-JJF (D. Del. Mar. 2, 2010), Judge Farnan considered defendants’ motion to unseal documents related to the Court’s decision granting summary judgment for invalidity. Id. at 1. Plaintiffs’ subsequently filed a motion to strike arguing that the Federal Circuit has exclusive jurisdiction over the motion due to plaintiffs’ pending appeal of the Court’s summary judgment opinion. Id. at 2. The Court ultimately denied both defendants’ and plaintiffs’ motions. Regarding jurisdiction, Judge Farnan determined that the motion to unseal documents was not an issue for appeal to the Federal Circuit and there was no danger that both courts would decide the same issue simultaneously. Id. at 4. Plaintiffs also argued that under Federal Circuit Rule 11, “the Federal Circuit has subject matter jurisdiction over the modification of protective orders as applied to the record on appeal.” Id. However, Judge Farnan noted that plaintiffs point to no case law indicating that Rule 11 applies to subject matter jurisdiction, and “by its plain language, Rule 11 is directed to ‘Forwarding the Record [on Appeal]. Accordingly, the Court does not read Rule 11 as establishing the Federal Circuit’s exclusive jurisdiction over the record on appeal. Id. at 5.