Almost one year ago, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the landmark case of TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (May 22, 2017). The decision upended what had been the status quo on the issue of where venue lies in patent infringement actions. The author has written before for the Delaware Business Court Insider about a looming potential for a restriction on where plaintiffs may bring patent infringement lawsuits, first in 2016 when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit acted on a writ of mandamus and issued its opinion on the issue, maintaining a broad interpretation of the applicable venue statutes, and again when the Supreme Court first issued TC Heartland and overruled a 26-year-old precedent of the Federal Circuit. The question had always been whether a Supreme Court ruling would end an era during which, for certain periods, over 40 percent of all patent infringement suits were being brought in the Eastern District of Texas. Now, a year later, there is evidence that this concentration of a single type of litigation in a single district is being redistributed among other historically significant patent infringement litigation venues, including the District of Delaware.
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