Monday, January 31, 2011

Tribal Sovereign Immunity Shields Indian Nation From Liability For Patent Infringement

Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction was granted where defendant was a federally recognized Indian nation and immune from suit. "[Plaintiff] points to no authority that Congress has expressly abrogated tribal sovereign immunity with respect to the enforcement of patents. . . . Nowhere in the Gaming Compact [between defendant and the State of Oklahoma] does [defendant] indicate an intention to waive its immunity from suit with respect to torts generally, or for patent infringement particularly. . . . Because the Quapaw Tribe enjoys sovereign immunity from patent infringement suits and did not waive its immunity, its Motion to Dismiss is granted."

Specialty House of Creation, Incorporated v. Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma, 4-10-cv-00371 (OKND January 27, 2011, Order) (Frizzell, J.)

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