Constant v American Micro-Devices

by James Constant

        This case is an often quoted precedent in hundreds of other cases. It is dissected and studied in the law schools as an example of the sharp critical administration of justice and lawyers rush to tell themselves and the public what the judges have said. In fact, the broken judicial system grounds itself on such false cases. Lets see why.

        The first thing a court must do is state, not assume, its jurisdiction. Suits arise under laws that create causes of action not from defenses to claims.Christiansen,infra. Threshold questions are whether the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals and the lower court had jurisdiction to hear the inventor's claims for patent infringement. The source of jurisdiction for the Federal Circuit is 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1295(a)-(1) which empowers the court to entertain appeals of final decisions of a district court where the lower court's jurisdiction "was based in whole or in part, on section 1338 of [title 28]." Section 1338 grants federal district courts original jurisdiction over "any civil action arising under any act of Congress relating to patents." Examination of the decision in Constant v Advanced Micro-Devices, Inc., 848 F2d 1560 (Fed.Cir. 1988) reveals no statement or reference to sections 1295 and 1338. Examination of the decision in the lower court reveals a judgment prepared by attorneys for the corporate defendant and signed by the district judge which states in paragraph 2 that "This is a case of alleged patent infringement" and in paragraph C.1 that "Jurisdiction is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1338(a) and (b)." However, in paragraphs C.1-C.13 (Conclusions of Law), the lower court held that the patent is invalid and nowhere in the judgment is found that the issue of patent infringment conferring jurisdiction upon the lower court was determined. A copy of the lower court's decision can be obtained from the inventor's petition in Supreme Court Case No 88-308 (Appendix B) purchased from the Supreme Court Clerk. The petition was denied without opinion.

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