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Supreme Court Decision Will Result in Fewer Patent Suits in Eastern District of Texas

Wednesday, May 31, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Deja Miller
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Extract from Wolf Greenfield's article "Supreme Court Decision Will Result in Fewer Patent Suits in Eastern District of Texas"

"In a decision likely to alter the current patent litigation landscape, the Supreme Court today ruled that patent infringement lawsuits may only be filed in a district where a defendant is either (a) incorporated or (b) has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business. Prior to today’s Supreme Court decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, the Federal Circuit and district courts had interpreted the general federal venue section (28 U.S.C. § 1391) and the patent-specific venue section (28 U.S.C. § 1400(b)) together to permit suit anywhere a defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction. This interpretation allowed defendants to be sued in districts with which they had little connection such as, most notably, the Eastern District of Texas.

Today, the unanimous Supreme Court made clear that this decades-old interpretation is wrong. The decision marks a shift in patent venue and likely will result in an exodus of cases from the Eastern District of Texas to other popular jurisdictions such as the District of Delaware (where many patent litigation defendants are incorporated) or the Northern District of California (where many patent litigation defendants have established places of business). Although the decision is unlikely to reduce patent litigation, it will redistribute where in the country those cases are filed."

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