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Gregory M. Sleet: State-Law Competition Claim Dismissed Sua Sponte

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Faced with proceeding on a lone state-law unfair competition counterclaim, Chief Judge Gregory M. Sleet has sua sponte dismissed the ancillary claim. After rejecting the underlying infringement counts in an earlier decision, the Court declined to hear the supplemental claim:

“[T]he Court finds that Banner’s unfair competition claim lacks an independent jurisdictional basis. Further, although [Title 28] gives the court subject matter jurisdiction over an unfair competition claim when it is joined with a substantial and related patent law claim, the court finds persuasive authority that affords it discretion to dismiss supplemental claims when the federal claims are dismissed prior to trial.”

This decision illustrates, as in other contexts, the emerging difficulty of pursuing state-law claims in patent cases.

Abbott Labs. v. Banner Pharmacaps Inc., C.A. No. 07-754-GMS (D. Del. Nov. 25, 2008) (Sleet, C.J.).

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