Posts Tagged: "venue"

What TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Group Brands Means for Patent Infringement Suits

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a party waives its right to assert a defense of improper venue when it fails to raise the defense in a pleading or with other Rule 12 motions.  Importantly, however, that waiver only takes effect if the defense was “available” to the party at the time of filing either the pleading or motion.  Many circuits, including the Federal Circuit, interpret that requirement by recognizing an intervening law exception to the waiver of a defense, whereby an intervening change in law makes available a defense that had not previously been available.  Does the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland constitute a change in the law?  Was the defense of improper venue unavailable until May 22, 2017?

Why is Steven Anderson of Culver Franchising testifying on patent reform in front of Congress?

Why is Steven Anderson citing his case as a reason why Congress must create stricter venue rules when he hasn’t even filed a motion to transfer venue? Anderson being trotted out as the poster child for venue reform is curious given he does business in EDTX and is seldom sued. Is this some charade? …. The company has only filed a motion to dismiss based on invalidity of the asserted claims under 35 U.S.C. Section 101. In fact, Culver filed an answer with affirmative defenses three weeks after the Supreme Court decided TC Heartland which notes that “Culver’s does not contest whether personal jurisdiction over it properly lies in this District in this case… Culver’s admits that venue may be proper, but denies that venue is convenient in this District as to Culver’s. Culver’s admits that it conducts business in this District.”

Issa seems to believe patents are an entitlement, not a property right

For the first 220 years of United States black letter law and precedent based directly on the U.S. Constitution, patents are property rights. Even the Republican Party Platform states that patents are property rights. Issa disagrees with all of that. Issa seems to believe that patents are instead some sort of public entitlement like food stamps as is evident in his bill, the America Invents Act, and his continuing actions even last week. Issa’s hypocrisy is so blatant, so obvious and so up front that I’m not sure he even understands what he just said, which is a very dangerous problem. So long as Darrell Issa remains in key lawmaking position in the Republican leadership in Congress, venture capital, patenting, new technologies, startups and jobs will continue to flee from the U.S. to China.

TC Heartland Requires Standardized Local Rules and Demand Letter Reform

In their recent TC Heartland decision, SCOTUS created unequal protection against patent infringers based on geographical incorporation decisions. They added uncertainty in time, cost, and outcome in patent litigation. Standardized local rules and demand letter reform at the federal level would help mitigate this unfortunate situation… Unless Congress acts to change venue laws, patent owners are now severely restricted in the choice of venue. And, if proposed legislation like S.2733 and the corresponding portion of H.R.9 are any indication, action by Congress may not change much regarding venue. So for now, patent owners must live with the restrictions resulting from TC Heartland.

Diverging Viewpoints on Venue Change Following T.C. Heartland

In two recent decisions following T. C. Heartland, district courts have applied two different methodologies in resolving motions to change venue… In the first decision a trial judge in the Eastern District of Virginia denied the venue motion, filed three days after T.C. Heartland but also on the eve of trial.  Cobalt Boats, LLC v. Sea Ray Boats, Inc. (June 7, 2017)… In the second decision, a district court in the Southern District of Ohio applied the standards in § 1400(b) and transferred the action because neither of two defendants resided in the district and neither had a permanent and continuous presence in Ohio.

MDL Proceedings as a Tool to Manage Patent Cases After TC Heartland

Some analysts have concluded that the Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland will make it more difficult for patent owners to enforce their patents. Generally, they assert that patent infringement litigation will become more costly for patent owners because they may have to assert their rights in multiple jurisdictions throughout the country. They also contend that concurrent litigation in multiple courts will lead to inconsistent outcomes. One response to these concerns is multidistrict litigation under 28 U.S.C. § 1407. Congress authorized the formation of a Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to transfer “civil actions involving one or more common questions of fact” to a single “district for coordinated or consolidated pretrial proceedings.” The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has authority to transfer patent cases as it does any other “civil actions.” Indeed, Congress predicted that patent cases would be particularly appropriate for multidistrict litigation.

Supreme Court Decision Deals Blow to ‘Patent Trolls’ and the ‘Best Little’ East Texas Towns That Thrive on Patent Litigation

After TC Heartland, patent infringement filings by patent trolls should be greatly reduced because they can no longer simply file and maintain cases against domestic corporations in plaintiff-friendly districts such as the Eastern District of Texas. Unfortunately for Marshall, Tyler and other East Texas towns, the torrent of lucrative patent litigation-related business traffic may slow to a trickle.

Is TC Heartland All Good News for Patent Litigation Defendants?

Joint-defense groups lower costs and increase efficiencies for all defendants in the groups. Certain prominent patent litigation boutiques and Big Law departments have skillfully made a business of being retained by many of the accused infringers in a single multi-defendant case. Even if counsel is not shared among defendants, the benefits of joint-defense groups inure greatly to small- and medium-sized companies that gain the benefit of top-notch defense teams retained by larger tech companies, without having to pay for them. Joint-defense groups also leverage economies of scale to accomplish more at lower costs for everyone. For instance, filing four or five IPR petitions may be feasible when those costs are spread around a group, but prohibitive for any individual defendant. In short, the pre-TC Heartland framework provided significant cost-savings and efficiencies to defendants, and in particular, small- and medium-sized companies.

Is the Supreme Court’s venue decision in TC Heartland anti-patent?

The TC Heartland decision strikes me as more anti-business than it is anti-patent. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision all patent owners will now be forced to seek remedy for patent infringement where the defendant is incorporated or where the infringing defendant has a significant place of business. In other words, all patent owners will in theory have to fight patent infringement disputes against domestic corporations on the home turf of the infringer… It also seems unlikely that TC Heartland will do anything about any lingering patent troll problem. As long as America’s technology companies continue to pay extortion there will be bad actors. Trolls will be trolls whether it is in the Eastern District of Texas or somewhere else, and it is recklessly naïve for anyone to think otherwise.

TC Heartland: An Alternate Opinion – Not As Bad As It Seems

We believe that the fallout from the Court’s ruling last week will be less dire for patent owners than most commentators predict. The conventional wisdom is that TC Heartland will cause a mass exodus of patent filings from the Eastern District of Texas and other supposedly plaintiff-friendly venues to Delaware, the Northern District of California and, to a lesser extent, the other states. The assumption underlying this view is that all those plaintiffs will be forced to file in the state where the defendant is incorporated. Yet even post-TC Heartland, patent owners have options and can continue to be strategic about how and where they proceed.

BMW, Volvo, Juniper Networks among first to cite TC Heartland in motions to dismiss

On Tuesday, May 30th, online legal news outlet Law360 reported that a trio of major automakers filed a motion asking a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.) to toss a patent infringement suit filed last May by Longview, TX-based patent licensing firm Stragent LLC. Reportedly, the automaker defendants argue that the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group forecloses the case from being decided in E.D. Tex.

How will district courts handle the influx of motions after SCOTUS TC Heartland ruling?

“What we do know is that motion practice will heat up and courts must determine how they want to handle the influx of motions to dismiss and related challenges with no clear instruction from TC Heartland,” Storm said. “Many defendants will likely move to dismiss or transfer venue, and for the latter, may take the step to proactively file in their chosen jurisdiction and then request transfer to such jurisdiction.”

With a Supreme Court hostile to inventors, venture capital and many startups moving to China

Due to the death of the patent troll narrative, venue reform would never have made it through Congress, but the infringer lobby doesn’t need Congress when they have a Supreme Court. They just need to make it sound like Congress may pass it and the Supreme Court will just do it for them, as if the Court can’t help themselves but to meddle in patent politics as they continue to disrupt generations of well settled patent law with practically every decision. However, this mode of lawmaking comes with very serious consequences. A group of nine liberal art majors who have never started up a company with the sole asset of a patent need a lot of information in order to understand the effects of their decisions. It is clearly evident from eBay, Alice and virtually all of the Supreme Court’s major patent decisions in the last decade that they do not understand the consequences of their decisions.

Supreme Court Reverses Federal Circuit on Venue for Patent Infringement Suits

In the U.S. Supreme Court case of TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, venue in patent infringement cases are governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), which states that patent infringement suits can be brought in the district where the defendant “resides” or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.

Industry reaction to SCOTUS patent venue decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Group

What follows is reaction from a distinguished panel of industry insiders who have been following this case. Each have offered their own instant analysis, several pointing out that important questions remain about what this Supreme Court decision will mean for the many thousands of patent cases already filed, many that are now in inappropriate venues. It is probably fair to say that the ruling did not surprise most of our panel, although several point to the Supreme Court’s decision as more in a decade-plus line of cases that have continually eroded the rights of patent owners.