Capital One Financial Corp. has litigated its novel antitrust theory against behemoth IP holding company Intellectual Ventures for more than five years.
It ended Tuesday without even a ruling on the merits from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The bank was challenging a ruling from U.S. District Judge Paul Grimm of the District of Maryland, but the Washington, D.C.-based appellate court ruled that Capital One was bound by a previous decision from U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia. Capital One had started to appeal Trenga’s decision several years ago but chose to abandon it.
“Given that the description of the alleged market on which Judge Trenga predicated his ruling is identical in all material respects to the market alleged in the Maryland case, it was appropriate for Judge Grimm to give preclusive effect to Judge Trenga’s ruling on that issue,” Judge William Bryson wrote for a unanimous panel.
The Federal Circuit did not say whether it agreed with Trenga’s framing of a relevant market for patents. Nor did it address Grimm’s alternate holding: that the Noerr-Penningtondoctrine guarantees Intellectual Ventures’ right to wield its massive patent portfolio.