James H. Anderson, Inc. v. Johnson, No. 08 C 6202, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul 27, 2009) (Coar, J.).

Judge Coar granted defendants’  Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss plaintiff’s copyright malpractice claim for lack of jurisdiction.  Plaintiff argued that the Court had jurisdiction over its state law malpractice claim based upon 28 U.S.C. Section 1338(a) which creates the federal court’s exclusive jurisdiction over patent and copyright cases.  The Court held that it did not have jurisdiction based upon the copyright claim in the underlying action.  Federal jurisdiction requires not just a contested federal issue, but a substantial federal issue.  The underlying was not a substantial issue. Furthermore, the federal interest in regulating malpractice was outweighed by the state interest.  And the Court reasoned that copyright malpractice was different than patent malpractice.  Copyright cases are fact intensive and do not require legal analysis of the claims, as required in patent law.

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