StoneTurn hosted an ABA Section of Litigation IP Roundtable, “Will Nationwide Venue for Patent Infringement Suits Soon End?,” at the Houston Club on Monday, February 6, 2017.
The topic focused on the fact that, those practicing in the area of patent infringement litigation in federal court know, historically, with some limitations, a patentee may bring suit in any federal district where alleged infringement has occurred. In extreme cases, there has been debate and discussion in the legal and business community about a patentee seeking supposedly friendly forums to bring suit (e.g., where courts are perceived to be less likely to grant summary adjudication, or have accelerated pre-trial schedules, or where non-practicing patentees have been awarded large damages), while on the other hand, a defendant urges strict limits on where they can be sued, possibly even requiring suit in the jurisdiction of incorporation or the principal place of business.
The Supreme Court accepted an appeal from the Federal Circuit in the case of TC Heartland, in which Kraft sued Indiana-based TC Heartland in Delaware. Maria Boyce, of Hogan Lovells, led a lively discussion of the case, past venue legislation and public policy among roughly 30 participants from law firms, including Baker Botts, Bracewell, Greenberg Traurig, Haynes & Boone, Hogan Lovells, King & Spalding, Mayer Brown and Morgan Lewis, among others, and in-house counsel from companies including MD Anderson Cancer Center, NASA, and Shell Oil Company.