A malicious prosecution action against a patent infringement plaintiff was not collaterally estopped by an earlier finding that the plaintiff’s suit was not objectively baseless because issues of fraud and perjury alleged in the malicious prosecution action had not yet been litigated, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held Feb. 23 (Hydranautics v. FilmTec Corp., 9th Cir., No. 98-55274, 2/23/00).

In 1977, John E. Cadotte left the employ of Midwest Research Institute, a nonprofit organization performing research on reverse osmosis membranes under a government contract. In 1979, he filed a patent application for a new type of membrane and assigned his rights to his company, FilmTec. Corp. In the 1980s, Hydranautics started making similar membranes and FilmTec sued for patent infringement.

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