Thanks to the “thrust upon” exception to the so-called “hot potato gambit,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled Thursday that Townsend and Townsend and Crew could not be disqualified from a patent case (pdf).

The hot potato gambit, explains the Federal Circuit, is when a law firm creates a conflict so it can drop a smaller client for a bigger one. The exception is when the conflict could not have been foreseen by the law firm.