Monday, August 08, 2011

7th Cir. flip-flops on whether district court challenge of TTAB cancellation waives state sovereign immunity

Several months ago, I reported on a 7th Circuit decision that a state did not waive sovereign immunity by challenging a TTAB cancellation through a de novo action in federal district court rather than a straight appeal to the Federal Circuit. Well, on rehearing, the 7th Circuit has now changed its mind. Citing the procedural advantages of a de novo district court action over a straight Federal Circuit appeal, the 7th Circuit held that it would be unfair to allow a state to choose an advantageous federal forum and later be able to claim sovereign immunity if the adverse party asserted counterclaims against it.

Board of Regents of the Univ. of Wisc. Sys. v. Phoenix Int’l Software, Inc., No. 08-4164 (7th Cir. Aug. 5, 2011).

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