Supreme Court ruling in patent case a blow to 'trolls'

Supreme Court ruling in patent case a blow to 'trolls'

Supreme Court ruling in patent case a blow to 'trolls'

Plenty of companies have reason to complain about the Federal Circuit's rule, and they let their concerns be known. Indeed, in 2016, 20 percent of all patent infringement cases pending nationwide were reported to have been assigned to a single judge located in Marshall, Texas-Judge Rodney Gilstrap.

Heartland sought to transfer the case to its home base in IN, arguing it has no presence in DE and 98 percent of its sales are outside of that state.

Intellectual property partner John O'Quinn of Kirkland & Ellis called the decision "seismic" in a statement emailed to the ABA Journal, and said it could lead to more infringement being filed in DE, where many corporations choose to incorporate.

Top technology companies are no strangers to patent litigation.

Those determined to bring a case in the district could shift their attention away from manufacturers to retailers who, of course, tend to be more ubiquitous and could therefore still face cases in a broad range of venues. A brief (PDF) signed by 48 Internet companies and retailers asked the Supreme Court to uphold the "restrict patent venue statute" that Congress had approved and to "stop forum shopping". Having recited that rule, the court needs only to note that Congress has never amended Section 1400 (b) since the decision in Fourco and that "t$3 he current version of § 1391 does not contain any indication that Congress meant to alter the meaning of § 1400 (b) as interpreted in Fourco".

"I think this is going to have a big effect on East Texas", said Tyler attorney Andy Tindel, whose practice includes federal patent law. "I'm glad to see the Court deliver a sweeping rebuke to the patent trolls who regularly prey on our nation's innovators and stand up for the patent-holders who need protection from these frivolous lawsuits".

More news: Youth movement sees Manchester United finish Premier League season with victory

Individuals and companies that generate revenue by suing over patents instead of making products have been dubbed "patent trolls".

At the same time, limiting patent infringement lawsuits to where the defendant company resides or has its established place of business would likely make it harder for trolls to score hefty settlements from the businesses they sue, and easier for the cases to get dismissed. It also said that even if the issues were in dispute, the case isn't a good one to use for setting new legal precedent.

The high court unanimously ruled that all patent lawsuits must now be argued and heard in whichever state the defendant resides - a significant change that blocks patent holders from filing in states that are more likely to rule in their favor. The lower courts rejected this based on a 1990 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit decision, which said defendants in patent cases can be sued anywhere they conduct business.

The TC Heartland case stemmed from a lawsuit brought by Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC against TC Heartland, LLC and Heartland Packaging the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

"As a result of today's decision, suits against multiple patent infringers may have to be brought in courts throughout the country - potentially increasing the plaintiff's litigation costs and increasing the risk of inconsistent outcomes", Larus added. This decision arises after years of judicial interpretation of two seemingly interrelated statutory provisions regarding "residency" in patent cases.

The Federal Circuit extended and exacerbated the forum-selection flexibility given to patentees in Acorda Therapeutics Inc. v. Mylan Pharms. Justice Neil M. Gorsuch didn't participate in the case.

Related news