Court Upends 30 Years of Patent Venue Law: U.S. Supreme Court Restricts Where Patent Infringement Lawsuits Can Be Filed

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP - May 22, 2017

Today, in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit and held that a domestic corporation “resides” only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute rather than, as the Federal Circuit has held for 30 years, any district in which the corporation is subject to personal jurisdiction.  The Court’s new restrictions on venue will foreseeably and significantly reduce the number of patent cases that can be filed in several plaintiff-popular patent districts, such as the Eastern District of Texas and the Eastern District of Virginia.  Conversely, the decision may increase the significant existing burden on judges in the District of Delaware.