Patent Infringement Venue – Watch where you File Your Patent Infringement Lawsuit!

Patent Infringement Venue – Watch where you File Your Patent Infringement Lawsuit!

Patent Infringement Venue – Watch where you File Your Patent Infringement Lawsuit!

 

On May 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court, in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, changed the landscape regarding the venue, or judicial district, in which a patent infringement lawsuit can be filed.  Specifically, the defendant in this case was sued in the state of Delaware, despite it being incorporated and residing in the state of Indiana, simply because it shipped allegedly infringing products into the state of Delaware.  The defendant moved to transfer the case to its backyard principally because the defendant had no “regular and established place of business” in Delaware.  The district court rejected defendant’s request, which was approved by the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Like the defendant in TC Heartland LLC, many other defendants are forced to litigate a patent infringement case outside of their home judicial district, typically causing increased expenses for the accused defendants, not to mention typically creating a benefit to plaintiffs by selectively choosing the most advantageous forum to litigation these patent infringement suits.

 

The applicable venue statute is 28 U.S.C. § 1400(c), which provides that “[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.”  Sections 1391(a) and (c) of the Federal statutes provides, however, that “[e]xcept as otherwise provided by law and “[f]or all venue purposes,” a corporation “shall be deemed to reside, if a defendant, in any judicial district in which such defendant is subject to the court’s personal jurisdiction with respect to the civil action in question.”  The Supreme Court in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the general venue section of § 1391 modified § 1400 and the Supreme Court’s previous interpretation of the same.  See Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp., 353 U.S. 222, 226 (1957) (holding that “residing” means the state where a corporation or other business entity is incorporated).  As such, would-be patent holding litigants, particularly those commonly referred to as “patent trolls,” should be cautious where a patent infringement lawsuit is filed, as it could result additional and unnecessary costs and expenses.

 

We at Johnson | Dalal, a Florida-based intellectual property law firm, with Fort Lauderdale, Plantation, and Tampa trademark and patent attorneys, can help with your preparing or defending your patent infringement lawsuit.

 

Copyright 2017 Johnson | Dalal, The Intellectual Property Law Firm, PLLC

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