Patent Venue a Year after TC Heartland

By Howard I. Shin and Christopher T. Stidvent

Published in Landslide Vol. 11 No.2, ©2018 by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association.

It has been a little over a year since the Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, interpreting the scope of the patent venue statute. Here we follow up on our earlier article1 to see what effects the decision has had. One of the things we found, unsurprisingly, is that there has been a fairly significant redistribution of where patent cases are now being filed. The Eastern District of Texas, the former leader by a long shot, now more or less shares a smaller proportion of initial patent filings with Delaware. Furthermore, cases are now being distributed over a number of core districts. We also take a look at why the Supreme Court reached the decision it did, and some questions that were raised as a result of the decision. Some of those issues include the reach of the “regular and established place of business” prong of the statute, and also why venue may not be proper in a district outside of the defendant’s principal place of business, even in the state of a defendant’s incorporation.

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