Selecting venue in patent infringement cases following the Supreme Court's decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC
On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands
LLC, No. 16-341, restricting venue in patent infringement cases. The decision altered 30 years of precedent interpreting 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), which provides: “[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.” For three decades, courts had held that a defendant under this statute “resides” in any judicial district in the United States where the defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction. This interpretation of § 1400(b) resulted in extensive forum shopping. For example, in 2016, more than 35% of all patent infringement cases were filed in the Eastern District of Texas. The Court held that “resides” under § 1400(b) means the place of incorporation for a domestic corporation, thereby severely restricting where venue is proper.
The TC Heartland
decision has the potential to have a huge impact on patent infringement litigation. It is already having an impact on new patent case filings, and venue questions are being raised for already-filed cases. The IP Litigation Team at Fried Frank is continuously tracking the impact of TC Heartland
and we have set up this portal to share information, insights, and analysis regarding the latest patent venue-related developments.
28 U.S.C. § 1400(b)
28 U.S.C. § 1391
- Supreme Court Decisions
TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341, 581 U.S. ___ (May 22, 2017)
Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp., 353 US 222 (1957).
- Federal Circuit Decisions
In re TC Heartland LLC, 821 F. 3d 1338 (2016)
In re Cordis Corp., 769 F.2d, 733 (1985)
- District Court Decisions
- Meaning of Regular and Established Place of Business
LoganTree v. Garmin International, Inc. et al, 5-17-cv-00098 (W.D. Tex. June 22, 2017) (Order, Dkt. 26)
Raytheon Company v. Cray, Inc., 2-15-cv-01554 (E.D. Tex. June 29, 2017) (Order, Dkt. 289)
- Timeliness of Motion to Challenge Venue
Cobalt Boats, LLC v. Sea Ray Boats, Inc. et al, 2-15-cv-00021 (E.D. Va. June 7, 2017) (Order, Dkt. 298)
Westech Aerosol Corporation v. 3M Company et al, 3-17-cv-05067 (W.D. Wa. June 21, 2017) (Order, Dkt. 41)
- Discovery Regarding Venue
Nike, Inc., v. Skechers U.S.A., Inc., 3-16-cv-007-PK (D. Or. June 30, 2017) (Order, Dkt. 120)
- Waiving Venue Objections
InfoGation Corp. v. HTC Corporation et al, 3-16-cv-01902 (S.D. Ca. July 5, 2017) (Order, Dkt. 102)
Tinnus Enterprises, LLC et al v. Telebrands Corporation et al, 6-15-cv-00551 (E.D. Tex. July 5, 2017) (Order, Dkt. 316)
- Briefing to the Federal Circuit
Petition for Writ of Mandamus to United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, No. 2:15-CV-1554, In Re Cray Inc. (Fed. Cir. July 17, 2017)
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