Medcam, Inc. v. Mcnc, No. 04-2572.

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBowman
Citation414 F.3d 972
Docket NumberNo. 04-2572.
Decision Date18 July 2005
PartiesMEDCAM, INC., a Washington corporation, now known as OptiMEMS, Inc., Plaintiff — Appellee, v. MCNC, a North Carolina non-for-profit corporation, Defendants — Appellant, MCNC Endowment, a North Carolina non-for-profit corporation; MCNC Enterprise Fund, L.P., a North Carolina limited partnership; MCNC Research and Development Institute, a North Carolina non-for-profit corporation; MCNC Ventures, LLC, a North Carolina limited liability corporation; JDS Uniphase, a Delaware corporation, as successor of Cronos Integrated Microsystems, Inc.; Cronos Microsystems, Inc., a Delaware corporation; Cronos MEMS, Inc., a North Carolina corporation; MCNC Cronos Equity Associates, LLC, a North Carolina limited corporation whose status is listed as dissolved, Defendants.
414 F.3d 972
MEDCAM, INC., a Washington corporation, now known as OptiMEMS, Inc., Plaintiff — Appellee,
v.
MCNC, a North Carolina non-for-profit corporation, Defendants — Appellant,
MCNC Endowment, a North Carolina non-for-profit corporation; MCNC Enterprise Fund, L.P., a North Carolina limited partnership; MCNC Research and Development Institute, a North Carolina non-for-profit corporation; MCNC Ventures, LLC, a North Carolina limited liability corporation; JDS Uniphase, a Delaware corporation, as successor of Cronos Integrated Microsystems, Inc.; Cronos Microsystems, Inc., a Delaware corporation; Cronos MEMS, Inc., a North Carolina corporation; MCNC Cronos Equity Associates, LLC, a North Carolina limited corporation whose status is listed as dissolved, Defendants.
No. 04-2572.
United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit.
Submitted: February 16, 2005.
Filed: July 18, 2005.

Page 973

David F. Herr, argued, Minneapolis, MN (William Z. Pentelovitch, Justin H. Perl, Haley Schaffer, Robert H. Shulman and Lara A. Degenhart, on brief), for appellant.

Corey J. Ayling, argued, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for appelle.

Before MORRIS SHEPPARD ARNOLD, BOWMAN, and GRUENDER, Circuit Judges.

BOWMAN, Circuit Judge.


MCNC appeals from the District Court's1 order denying MCNC's motion to

Page 974

dismiss certain claims asserted by MedCam, Inc. (MedCam) against MCNC and granting MedCam's motion to compel arbitration of those claims. We affirm.

I.

The essential facts of this case can be stated briefly.2 MedCam and MCNC sought to develop medical imaging technology together, and they entered into a contract (the Agreement) to govern the terms of their joint development. The Agreement restricted the parties' ability to disclose or transfer the technology developed under the Agreement. The Agreement also contained a clause that restricted MCNC from competing with MedCam for a period of two years beyond the termination of the Agreement. Specifically, the noncompete clause barred MCNC from designing or producing devices in the "MedCam Field," which was an area of imaging technology defined in the Agreement. Agreement ¶¶ 1.16, 6.5. Most importantly, the Agreement specified that "[a]ll disputes, controversies or differences arising out of or in connection with this Agreement" would be finally settled by binding arbitration. Id. ¶ 9.5.

After several years of jointly developing technology under the Agreement, MCNC terminated the Agreement and began working with other companies to develop optical technology. MedCam claimed that MCNC improperly transferred technologies developed under the Agreement to other companies and that the technologies MCNC developed with and through these other companies violated the noncompete clause of the Agreement. MedCam asked the District Court to compel arbitration of its claims against MCNC and several other companies under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), 9 U.S.C. §§ 1-16 (2000). The District Court dismissed MedCam's claims against the other companies, but entered an order denying MCNC's motion to dismiss MedCam's claims against MCNC and granting MedCam's motion to compel arbitration of those claims. MCNC appeals the order denying its motion to dismiss and granting MedCam's motion to compel arbitration.

II.

When it enacted the FAA, Congress intended for parties who have agreed to arbitrate disputes to do so in a speedy manner without delay or obstruction by the courts. Prima Paint Corp. v. Flood & Conklin Mfg. Co., 388 U.S. 395, 404, 87 S.Ct. 1801, 18 L.Ed.2d 1270 (1967). Accordingly, the FAA limits a district court's initial role in any challenge to an arbitration agreement to deciding whether "the making of the agreement for arbitration or the failure to comply therewith" is at issue. 9 U.S.C. § 4 (2000). As to whether "the making of the agreement for arbitration" is in issue, id., our Circuit has refined this inquiry to asking 1) whether the agreement for arbitration was validly made and 2) whether the arbitration agreement applies to the dispute...

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55 practice notes
  • Barclay v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., File No. 19-cv-2970 (ECT/DTS)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Minnesota
    • October 15, 2020
    ...for arbitration was validly made and 2) whether the arbitration agreement applies to the dispute at hand[.]" MedCam, Inc. v. MCNC, 414 F.3d 972, 974 (8th Cir. 2005). Though courts "presume that parties have not authorized arbitrators to resolve" these "gateway questions, . . . parties are f......
  • 3M Co. v. Amtex Sec., Inc., No. 07-3519.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • September 16, 2008
    ...arbitration if a valid arbitration clause exists which encompasses the dispute between the parties. 9 U.S.C. § 4; MedCam, Inc. v. MCNC, 414 F.3d 972, 974 (8th Cir.2005). The parties do not dispute that Article 4D of the subagreement is a valid arbitration clause; their disagreement centers ......
  • Westlake Invs., L.L.C. v. MLP Mgmt. L.L.C., No. 4:09-cv-00095-JAJ-RAW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • March 3, 2010
    ...assurance that the arbitration clause is not susceptible of an interpretation that covers the asserted dispute." Medcam, Inc. v. MCNC, 414 F.3d 972, 975 (8th Cir. 2005). Whether an arbitration agreement is within the scope of the FAA is a separate inquiry from the merits of the underlying c......
  • Iappini v. Silverleaf Resorts, Inc., No. 4:15 CV 695 RWS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • July 20, 2015
    ...to deciding whether 'the making of the agreement for arbitration or the failure to comply therewith' is at issue." MedCam, Inc. v. MCNC, 414 F.3d 972, 974 (8th Cir.2005) (quoting 9 U.S.C. § 4 ). "[The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit] has refined this inquiry to asking ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
55 cases
  • Barclay v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., File No. 19-cv-2970 (ECT/DTS)
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Minnesota
    • October 15, 2020
    ...for arbitration was validly made and 2) whether the arbitration agreement applies to the dispute at hand[.]" MedCam, Inc. v. MCNC, 414 F.3d 972, 974 (8th Cir. 2005). Though courts "presume that parties have not authorized arbitrators to resolve" these "gateway questions, . . . parties are f......
  • 3M Co. v. Amtex Sec., Inc., No. 07-3519.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • September 16, 2008
    ...arbitration if a valid arbitration clause exists which encompasses the dispute between the parties. 9 U.S.C. § 4; MedCam, Inc. v. MCNC, 414 F.3d 972, 974 (8th Cir.2005). The parties do not dispute that Article 4D of the subagreement is a valid arbitration clause; their disagreement centers ......
  • Westlake Invs., L.L.C. v. MLP Mgmt. L.L.C., No. 4:09-cv-00095-JAJ-RAW
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States State District Court of Southern District of Iowa
    • March 3, 2010
    ...assurance that the arbitration clause is not susceptible of an interpretation that covers the asserted dispute." Medcam, Inc. v. MCNC, 414 F.3d 972, 975 (8th Cir. 2005). Whether an arbitration agreement is within the scope of the FAA is a separate inquiry from the merits of the underlying c......
  • Iappini v. Silverleaf Resorts, Inc., No. 4:15 CV 695 RWS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Missouri)
    • July 20, 2015
    ...to deciding whether 'the making of the agreement for arbitration or the failure to comply therewith' is at issue." MedCam, Inc. v. MCNC, 414 F.3d 972, 974 (8th Cir.2005) (quoting 9 U.S.C. § 4 ). "[The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit] has refined this inquiry to asking ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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