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The Supreme Court’s bright-line rule for patent venue based on a corporation’s “residency,” issued in TC Heartland on May 22, quickly shifted focus to the second prong of 28 U.S.C. Section 1400(b) and specifically to whether the corporation has a “regular and established place of business” in the proposed forum. Because there previously had been little occasion for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to offer guidance on this issue, district courts undertook the task of shaping new law. In particular, Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas provided a comprehensive analysis and four-factor test as part of his ruling in Raytheon v. Cray, where he found venue proper under the second prong. Cray appealed the decision and, on Sept. 21, the Federal Circuit vacated the ruling and installed a new framework for the “regular and established place of business” inquiry of Section 1400(b). Notably, the court explained that “no precise rule has been laid down” and that “each case depends on its own facts.”

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