In TC Heartland, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that for patent cases, venue is proper in the accused infringer’s state of incorporation or in any judicial district where defendant has infringed and has a “regular and established place of business.” As expected, this ruling produced a flood of venue transfer motions focused on the issue of what qualifies as a “regular and established place of business” under 28 U.S.C. §1400(b). Moreover, patent owners who want access to popular courts in the Eastern and Western Districts of Texas remain undeterred—they continue to initiate suit in these courts and thereby test the limits of TC Heartland.
In an effort to secure venue in these popular courts, patent owners have advanced theories for venue based on the physical location of the defendant’s parents or subsidiaries, the defendant’s online presence through computers and servers, and facts showing that defendant has ratified as its place of business the location of an employee or third party. In this article, we examine how the Federal Circuit and district courts construe “regular and established place of business” in the face of these efforts to expand the reach of courts in these popular venues.
Venue After ‘TC Heartland’
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