Heartland Will Not Excuse WaiverIn reversing the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of the venue statute in Heartland, SCOTUS was very clear. Venue no longer lies where the patent infringer has a place of business and where the infringement occurred; venue lies where the infringer is incorporated. Many commentators have noted that had SCOTUS not rendered the decision modifying venue in patent infringement cases, Congressional leaders may have pursued litigation to achieve the same outcome. So, it was a change many felt needed to occur. While it is now clear, post-Heartland, that patent infringement claims can no longer claim venue in jurisdictions where the patent infringer has a place of business and where the infringement occurred, what the Heartland opinion did not accomplish was a waiver of waiver. How can you waive your Heartland right to change of venue? Two ways: … [Read more...] about Post-Heartland Denial Of Venue Change Heartless?
In 2014, Kraft Foods filed a patent infringement suit in the District Court of Delaware against TC Heartland, a competitor that is organized under Indiana law and headquartered in Indiana but ships the allegedly infringing products into Delaware. TC Heartland moved to transfer venue to one of the U.S. district courts in Indiana, claiming that venue was improper in Delaware. TC Heartland argued that it did not “resid[e]” in Delaware and had no “regular and established place of business” in Delaware under the patent venue statute 28 U.S.C. §1400(b). The District Court of Delaware and the Federal Circuit both rejected this argument. TC Heartland appealed to the Supreme Court. … [Read more...] about In TC Heartland Decision, U.S. Supreme Court Changes the Landscape — and Possibly the Venue — of Patent Litigation
Meanwhile, for defendant companies, the TC Heartland decision also may be a positive in combatting non-practicing entities (NPEs). Much of the patent litigation brought in the Eastern District of Texas comes from non-practicing entities. The PwC 2017 Patent Litigation Study reported that 38% of the Eastern District of Texas’s decisions from 1997-2016 involved NPEs, and the NPEs had a 49% success rate. One frequent strategy is to sue multiple defendants simultaneously in the Eastern District of Texas, whose local rules and standing orders can put pressure on defendants to settle. But the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland will significantly limit the ability to sue there—where most defendants are neither incorporated nor have a regular and established place of business—thus reducing the effectiveness of this strategy. … [Read more...] about Texas’ Loss is Delaware’s Gain: Navigating the Post-TC Heartland Landscape of Patent Litigation
What Happens Now?These new venue rules are expected to have an immediate impact on existing patent cases. For instance, many corporate defendants in pending Eastern District of Texas patent cases do not meet either TC Heartland criteria, making it an improper venue for such defendants. However, it is unclear at what stage of litigation the court will hold permissible for a valid transfer due to improper venue following the TC Heartland ruling. For those defendants that have yet to respond to a complaint of patent infringement, or those that have previously challenged venue in the Eastern District of Texas in their response, relief may now be possible. Practitioners should consider motions to dismiss for improper venue, or motions to transfer to a new district in light of the TC Heartland decision. Many accused infringers should be able to persuasively argue that their case should be transferred from the Eastern District of Texas to another district that … [Read more...] about TC Heartland: The Impact of Updating Patent Venue Rules
In what could be the first post-TC Heartland venue decision rendered there, a District of Massachusetts court recently granted a defendant’s motion to transfer a patent infringement case to New Jersey. The plaintiff had originally sued the defendant for patent infringement in the Eastern District of Texas, despite the fact that the defendant is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Newark, New Jersey. Soon thereafter, the defendant moved to transfer the case to the District of New Jersey—but while that motion was pending, the parties instead agreed to transfer the case to Massachusetts, a venue that was proper under pre-TC Heartland case law. … [Read more...] about Massachusetts Court Decides to Transfer Case in View of TC Heartland Venue Standard