Posts Tagged: "venue"

Opposition to Venue Reform Misses Target

There is simply no reason for so many patent cases to wind up in a district with so little relation to those cases. Basic principles of equity and justice don’t vanish just because a patent is involved. The court hearing a patent case should have a real interest in the case, just like any tort or contract case. The Eastern District of Texas has literally created a local industry of patent litigation, intentionally or not. Even local businesses acknowledge it and exploit it. Patent venue reform is long overdue, and it’s something that Congress can and should get done.

Hillary Clinton supports patent reform, announces technology and innovation initiative

Clinton’s proposal for accomplishing this goal would be twofold: (1) to reduce excessive patent litigation through additional patent reform; and (2) strengthening the operational capacity of the USPTO by allowing the USPTO to keep and spend all the fees it collects. “You are looking at a 14-page detailed document. There is a lot of thought put behind this agenda,” explained Todd Dickinson, former Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office under President Bill Clinton who was reached by telephone for comment. Not surprisingly, Dickinson has has been an advisor to the campaign regarding intellectual property matters. “Other campaigns will be hard pressed to match the depth and thoughtfulness of these proposals.”

In re TC Heartland: Asking the Federal Circuit to ‘Fix’ Patent Venue Law

Twenty-five years ago, the Federal Circuit decided a case that transformed where (and how) patent infringement cases can be litigated.[1] By expanding the scope of where a corporate defendant “resides” for venue purposes, the court in VE Holding Corp. v. Johnson Gas Appliance greatly increased the number of states and courts in which many corporations can be sued for infringement. This decision has contributed to the development of forum-shopping and related litigation issues over the past several years. One company, TC Heartland, LLC, is now urging the Federal Circuit to overturn that precedent and restore more stringent venue restrictions through a writ of mandamus, and dozens of others are joining the debate.

There is no place for blatant forum shopping in patent litigation

Larger companies like Adobe can defend themselves in court, even in Texas, but upstarts and mom-and-pop small businesses do not have the time or resources to defend themselves in a Texas courtroom for prolonged periods of time. Given the rampant and growing abuse, Congress must pass comprehensive patent legislation that includes critical venue reform measures. Without venue reform, patent trolls will continue to bring lawsuits against America’s leading innovators and small businesses in jurisdictions that have no connection to an alleged infringement. The choice of forum should not be outcome determinative. That’s not justice.

Patent litigation venue reform tips scales of justice against innovators

Despite being grossly unfair to small inventors, the courts are routinely transferring cases to a venue containing the headquarters of the infringing multinational corporation, as happened in this case. Often cases are moved thousands of miles requiring outside counsel, travel, additional motions and legal work and other costs. Often the new venue is not experienced in patent cases and may take years longer to conclude the litigation. Part of the strategy for defendants is to fight a costly war of attrition against independent inventors and small businesses. Eventually they will be forced to give up. That is why patent reform that impacts venue matters so much, it is about raising costs, tipping the scales of justice and beating innovators into submission using procedural rules.

Patent Reform Returns: Venue Reform Bill to be introduced in Senate

While widespread patent reform seems unlikely during the remainder of the 114th Congress, targeted patent reform is another matter entirely. Indeed, the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship recently held a hearing largely attacking the America Invents Act (AIA) and the current reform bills and in a bi-partisan manner. And this week we may see a bi-partisan push in the Senate for a bill that focuses only on venue reform, which will be co-sponsored by Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO). The bill, available in draft form, is titled the Venue Equity and Non-Uniformity Elimination Act of 2016.

Strict venue provisions for patent litigation added to Innovation Act

Issa’s amendment changes the language so that a party bringing a patent infringement suit where the defendant has its principle place of business, where the defendant has a physical presence, or where the patent owner has a meaningful physical presence due to research and development or manufacturing. At first glance these venue provisions seem reasonable because they would curtail the extreme forum shopping that does go on in patent cases, as witnessed in the Eastern District of Texas. On closer consideration, however, this provision could create problems for those patent owners who are not bad actors that seek to abuse the system or take advantage by only filing in favorable, remote forums.

Playboy’s Trademark and False Advertising Complaint Dismissed

Playboy Enterprises International, Inc. v. Play Beverages, LLC, et al., U.S. District Judge S. James Otero has granted the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss on the basis of improper venue.

The America Invents Act – How it All Went Down

On Friday, September 16, 2011, President Obama signed into law “The America Invents Act” (“AIA”) which passed the Senate on September 8, 2011, by a vote of 89-9. The AIA passed the House of Representatives on June 23rd by a vote of 304-117. The measure, which is the product of a seven-years-long legislative battle among patent policy stakeholders, changes how patents are obtained and enforced in the United States. Important reforms to patent law are incorporated into the AIA and, just as significantly, several controversial proposed changes were deleted from the AIA before final passage. This article is a play-by-play of the process and how it unfolded.

Federal Circuit Orders Transfers Verizon out of Eastern Texas

With respect to Verizon et al, the petitioners moved to transfer the case to the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division, which is approximately 150 miles away from the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division. The motion was initially denied by a Magistrate Judge. In his decision, the Magistrate agreed with the petitioners that the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division would likely be more convenient for the parties and the witnesses, and he even noted that a number of party witnesses resided within 100 miles of Dallas and no witness resided within 100 miles of Marshall, Texas. Let’s let that sit for a moment, shall we? It was determined that the Northern District would be more convenient for the parties and witnesses and that not a single witness lived within 100 miles of the Eastern District of Texas, yet the motion to transfer was denied?

Senate Judiciary Committee Passes Patent Reform Bill

As I sit here listening to the Executive Meeting of the Judiciary Committee on patent reform, things are getting extremely contentious.  Senator Specter (R-PA) has said that he would rather wait and not vote this bill out of Committee until Senator Kyl (R-AZ) has an opportunity to submit his amendments relative to the post-grant review process.  Apparently Senator Kyl has…

Huge Changes to Senate Patent Reform Bill Announced

The Senate Judiciary Committee Executive Meeting on the Patent Reform bill presently working its way through the Senate just ended, at approximately 10:30 am.  Last week, on Thursday, March 26, 2009, Senator Arlen Specter announced that compromise was close, and that changes to the patent bill would be “very significant.”  It would appear as if Senator Specter was not just blowing…

Patent Reform Reportedly Top Priority in Congress

It seems that patent reform will once again be on the Congressional agenda during the 111th Congress, perhaps as early as late winter or early spring. See National Journal, by way of Patently-O.  It is hard to imagine that the Congress would be willing to so quickly take up such a thorny issue, and one that has largely pitted the…

E.D. Texas No Longer Patent Troll Friendly

For those who own or purchase patents and then seek out litigators more interested in using the judicial process to harass plaintiffs, this should mean significant problems lie ahead. No longer is the Eastern District of Texas going to be the warm and friendly place where patent trolls get favorable rulings and force major corporations to litigate in a hostile environment. To be sure, the patent troll problem has not been solved, and cases will continue to be brought, but they will need to be brought in places where the dispute really ought to be litigated.

7 Patent Reform Suggestions for Congress

After being told that patent reform in 2008 was all but a done deal, once again nothing happened.  I am happy that patent reform died in 2008 because the reforms that were being proposed were largely bad ideas, and they would have done absolutely nothing to address the many real and substantial problems that are facing the US patent system…