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Supreme Court Narrows Patent Infringement Venue

by | Jun 5, 2017 | Patent | 0 comments

In the case of TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion that is likely to limit the universe of available venues in which a patent holder can bring an action for infringement. Under the particular patent venue statute, the appropriate venue for patent infringement is anywhere infringement has occured, as long as the accused infringer has a regular and established place of business, or where the accused infringer “resides.” In the context of a corporation, the definition of residing had been open to interpretation, but the TC Heartland opinion made explicit that residence under the patent venue statute refers only to the state of incorporation. 

 In doing so, the Supreme Court reversed several decades of Federal Circuit jurisprudence, which had been construing the provision more liberally. Many commentators suggest that this may have a chilling effect on new filings in places such as the Eastern District of Texas — known “rocket dockets” for patent infringement cases.