Simonian v. Hunter Fan Co., No. 10 C 1212, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 8, 2010) (St. Eve, J.).

Judge St. Eve denied defendant Hunter Fan’s motion to dismiss plaintiff’s false patent marking case. Hunter Fan argued that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction because approximately four hours before this suit was filed, another plaintiff filed a separate suit in the Northern District of Texas accusing Hunter Fan of the same alleged false patent marking. The False Claim Act did have a first-to-file provision, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(5), but the provision expressly limited its application to False Claims Act cases. Because false patent marking is part of the Patent Act, not the False Claims Act, the first-to-file limitation was not applicable. 

In reply, Hunter Fan argued that 35 U.S.C. § 292 allowed for only a single claim, and that the reasoning of the False Claim Act’s first-to-file rule should have been applied to the false patent marking statute.  Hunter Fan, however, waived these arguments by failing to make them in its opening brief.