U.S. Supreme Court to Review Interpretation of Patent Venue Statute

Monday, December 19, 2016

The Supreme Court on December 14, 2016 granted certiorari to review the “patent venue statute,” 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).  The currently accepted interpretation of the patent venue statute is based on a 1990 decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, pursuant to which venue for corporations in patent actions exists in any judicial district in which the corporation is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced.  The 1990 decision has been blamed for generating “rampant forum shopping” by patent owner plaintiffs.  The Supreme Court has been asked to review the Federal Circuit decision, and limit venue under Section 1400(b) to 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.  TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Food Brands Grp. LLC, ___ U.S. ___, No. 16-341, cert. granted Dec. 14, 2016. A decision is expected during Spring 2017.