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Exercising Restraint: Federal Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Declaratory Judgment Action Under Abstention Doctrine

The Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a declaratory judgment action based on the “abstention doctrine,” despite the declaratory judgment plaintiff’s insistence that the underlying contract dispute required resolution of patent validity and claim scope that were within the federal courts’ exclusive purview.

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The Federal Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a declaratory judgment action based on the “abstention doctrine,” despite the declaratory judgment plaintiff’s insistence that the underlying contract dispute required resolution of patent validity and claim scope that were within the federal courts’ exclusive purview. Warsaw Orthopedic, Inc., et al. v. Sasso, 977 F.3d 1224 (Fed. Cir. 2020). The decision in Warsaw Orthopedic provides guidance to litigants with claims involving both state and federal issues and attempts to resolve competing Supreme Court standards governing application of the abstention doctrine.

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