The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review the much-watched TC Heartland patent venue decision comes as unwelcome news to Texas intellectual property lawyers who have made a profitable living off filing and defending cases in the Eastern District of Texas.

Some attorneys in the Lone Star State fear the high court may alter a longstanding patent venue rule that allows plaintiffs to sue defendants anywhere they sell an infringed product, which has turned the Eastern District into the nation’s most favored patent docket. Nearly one-third of all patent cases filed in 2015 were assigned to U.S. District Judge Rodney Gilstrap of the Eastern District of Texas. Many of the cases heard in East Texas are filed by nonpracticing entities (pejoratively referred to as “patent trolls”).

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